Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa says he is still finding his feet at Manchester United but believes his experience at German champions Borussia Dortmund can help him succeed at Old Trafford.
Kagawa has enjoyed a solid start to life in the Premier League with United since his summer move from Dortmund, scoring two goals, including one in his home debut in a 3-2 win over Fulham.
But the 23-year-old told Kyodo News in a recent interview that he is not satisfied with any of the 90-minute shifts he has put in so far for the Red Devils.
“To be honest, I don’t believe I have yet cemented my place (in the team),” Kagawa said. “There is not one game that I can be satisfied with the way I played over the 90 minutes. I still feel I need more time to adapt.”
“It is fate for any player that plays for a big club and I am trying to draw on the positives,” Kagawa said of the pressure of playing for a big club like United.
Kagawa was a smash hit when he joined Dortmund from Cerezo Osaka in the summer of 2010, but his debut season in the Bundesliga, during which he scored eight goals, was cut short after breaking his foot on international duty at the Asian Cup in Qatar in January last year.
He quickly found his way back into the lineup for the 2011-2012 campaign, though, and helped Dortmund win back-to-back Bundesliga titles as well as last season’s German Cup to earn a high-profile move to United.
“It is really tough (in my new environment), but it was the same at Dortmund and once I get through it I think I can improve. You either lose your way or you break through the hardships and play well. There is a massive difference,” he said.
Kagawa singled out communication as one aspect of his game he needs to work on to help him succeed.
“I need to communicate better so I can get my timing right when asking for the ball and things like that. But more importantly I need to push and show my strengths. You gain trust when you deliver results.”
Kagawa returns to United following the international break during which he scored the winner in a 1-0 upset of France and was on the losing side as Japan was thrashed 4-0 by Brazil.
Both games were warmups for next month’s World Cup qualifier away to Oman.
“I was encouraged by various things after returning to the national team and hopefully that will lead to good performances with United. I want to get more confident with each game,” he said.