Kagawa keen to adapt

  • Last Updated: December 6 2013, 7:48 GMT

Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa has admitted it should be no problem for him to play on the left.

Shinji Kagawa: Knows he needs to be flexible
Shinji Kagawa: Knows he needs to be flexible

During the difficult early weeks of David Moyes' tenure, the Scot's use of Kagawa has been criticised.

The Japan international did not make a competitive appearance for his new manager until September and most of the time has operated in a wider role rather than behind a main striker, where he excelled in back-to-back Bundesliga title triumphs with Borussia Dortmund.

Yet Kagawa insists the wider role should not be an issue.

"I played behind the main striker at Dortmund, but I usually play on the left with Japan," Kagawa told United Review.

"I should be flexible enough to play in a number of roles, so I am a more attractive player to the team and can contribute even more.

"Every day I am learning how to trouble my opponents on the left, how best to cause them problems with my movement. But I would still like to be capable of taking up more positions."

With Wayne Rooney ruled out through suspension and Robin van Persie's involvement uncertain, Kagawa could end up being a key figure when United take on Newcastle on Saturday.

Not since 2002 have United lost successive Premier League home games and those defeats to Middlesbrough and Arsenal were separated by over six weeks, during which time they completed two Champions League ties, losing in the semi-final to Bayer Leverkusen.

Even earlier the same season, when they were beaten at Old Trafford on successive weekends by Chelsea and West Ham, a European victory came in between.

The last time United were beaten in successive league games on home soil without any respite in between was in December 1989, the season that also contained a hammering by Manchester City and ended with a 13th placed finish.

Given the growing pressure on Moyes, a repeat cannot be countenanced against a Newcastle outfit searching for their first Old Trafford success since 1972.

Having now slipped to ninth, Moyes has started to receive some criticism from United fans, who have singled out his only significant signing Marouane Fellaini, plus England duo Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley for particular attention.

At Everton, Moyes did have a history of starting seasons slowly, then coming with a run at the end.

He can only hope that same style has followed him down the East Lancashire Road because failure to qualify for the Champions League, whilst not catastrophic financially, would be a significant blow to United's prestige and affect their attractiveness for potential new


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