David Moyes must keep faith in Shinji Kagawa, while Fabio Coentrao deal 'is close'

Last Updated: 13/01/14 8:52am

Manchester United still look 'very vulnerable' but must stick with Shinji Kagawa in midfield, says Jason Burt of The Sunday Telegraph.

United avoided registering four successive defeats for the first time since 1961 with a 2-0 victory over Swansea City thanks to second-half goals from Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck.

After losing to Spurs in the league on New Year's Day, defeats to Swansea in the FA Cup and Sunderland, in the League Cup, have put more pressure on manager David Moyes and Burt told Sunday Supplement there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Fortunate

"They improved in the second half for sure; the first half was pretty poor, actually," said Burt. "There was a real sense of trepidation at half time because they just weren't improving.

"They came out in the second half with much more purpose and they got that early goal and there was a real sense of relief around the stadium.

"I think that they were fortunate that they were playing a Swansea City team that is struggling at the moment - they are short of numbers and the season is becoming quite a hardship for them because they're fighting on all fronts.

"I think a better team would have scored against United in that first half and then they would have been in real trouble.

"But it was better. What Moyes did tactically was good. He put Adnan Januzaj out to the left and put Kagawa in his natural position in the middle behind the striker and that worked.

"I think they've got to persist with that now. That's the role that Kagawa was bought to play and that's hwere he should play. Moyes has clearly been unconvinced by him but he has to persist with that.

"They still look very vulnerable to me and I think a better team would have beaten them yesterday."

Deal

Burt believes there is still every chance that Moyes will bolster his options by bringing in Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao on loan for the remainder of the season.

He told the Sunday Supplement that the 25-year-old is keen to make the move, adding: "His agent, Jorge Mendes, was over in Manchester. I think he's got a number of clients at Manchester United already. Anderson looks like he might be on his way out, Nani as well.

"I think Mendes is trying to make that deal happen. Real Madrid are saying they're not going to let anyone go. United aren't 100 per cent sold on Coentrao but I think it's a deal that's easier to do than some of the other ones.

"They'll feel the pressure to do something this January. It has been on and it has been off and I think it is back on again now.

"I think that Coentrao is very keen to make it happen himself and there's the possibility that something might happen this week with it."