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Football: Man Utd star Kagawa vows to 'pull socks up'

Published on Sep 6, 2012 5:22 PM
Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa waits for the ball during their English Premier League soccer match against Fulham at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England, Aug 25, 2012.

TOKYO (AFP) - Manchester United star Shinji Kagawa has admitted he needs to "pull (his) socks up" for Japan with World Cup qualifying set to resume next week.

Kagawa, despite early success at Old Trafford, admitted he was below par in last month's 1-1 friendly draw against Venezuela, when he gave the ball away for the visitors' equaliser and missed goal-scoring chances.

"The final round of World Cup qualifiers has come back around and I have to pull my socks up," he told Japanese media, ahead of Thursday's friendly with United Arab Emirates. "I didn't play too well in last month's game and this is an important match," Kagawa said, according to Kyodo News.

The former Borussia Dortmund man will play on the left of attack against UAE and when Japan take on Iraq in Saitama next Tuesday. His preferred position, a central role behind the striker, is filled by CSKA Moscow livewire Keisuke Honda.

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