Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa has admitted he deserved to start on the bench in Thursday's 0-0 draw against Greece after struggling in Japan's opening game at the World Cup.

Although coach Alberto Zaccheroni told reporters after the Greece match that his decision to start Yoshito Okubo instead of Kagawa was for "tactical reasons," Kagawa was not altogether surprised at the move given his poor performance in the Samurai Blue's 2-1 defeat to Cote d'Ivoire.

"I found out before the game that I was not going to start and you will have to ask the coach what his intentions were, but I thought I would come on in the second half and I just had to prepare myself," Kagawa told Kyodo News after Friday's training session.