Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa will 'pull his socks up' with Japan

Shinji Kagawa: Eyeing improvement with Japan ahead of their latest World Cup qualifier

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Manchester United new-boy Shinji Kagawa has vowed to 'pull his socks up' while away with Japan for their upcoming World Cup qualifier.

Manchester United new-boy Shinji Kagawa has vowed to 'pull his socks up' while away with Japan for their upcoming World Cup qualifier.

Kagawa's early performances for United suggest he could have a key role to play in manager Sir Alex Ferguson's midfield this season following his summer arrival from Borussia Dortmund.

But the 23-year-old was disappointed with his display for Japan in last month's 1-1 friendly draw against Venezuela, when he gave the ball away for the visitors' equaliser and fluffed goal-scoring chances.

The midfielder is determined to do better with his country this time around as they take on United Arab Emirates in a friendly on Thursday ahead of a qualifier against Iraq next week.

Important

"The final round of World Cup qualifiers has come back around and I have to pull my socks up," Kagawa told Kyodo News.

"I didn't play too well in last month's game and this is an important match."

Kagawa's preferred position is in a central role behind the striker, but he admits he could have a hard time displacing CSKA Moscow star Keisuke Honda in that post for Japan.

The youngster, who is expected to play on the left of Alberto Zaccheroni's midfield in Japan's upcoming games, said: "Obviously I always want to play in the hole but no matter what I say the situation isn't going to change.

"That's the way it goes and basically I just have to deliver results in whichever position I am played in."

Manager Zaccheroni hopes Kagawa's move to Old Trafford benefits his performances for Japan.

He said: "When the club is doing well, he is playing well and I hope he plays well also for the national team."