Kagawa trains alone ahead of Manchester United season opener

The Japanese midfield schemer has joined up with his domestic team-mates following his Confederations Cup exertions and will seek to ramp up his own pre-season preparations
Shinji Kagawa has been training alone at Manchester United's pre-season camp in the hope to regain fitness following his Confederations Cup exertions with Japan.

The midfielder has linked up with the tour party later than the rest of the first-team squad and is now upping the ante in a bid to prove his readiness ahead of the season opener at Swansea on August 17.

At the forefront of Kagawa's mind, though, is a reunion with former side Cerezo Osaka on Friday, which he is relishing.

10/11 Shinji Kagawa is 10/11 with William Hill to score at anytime v Cerezo Osaka
"[Friday's] match is against the club that has set me out on the international arena," the 24-year-old told reporters. "The fans and supporters are back here to see me play for my club and I want to perform with my utmost effort.

"My current position is I've just rejoined the team and I've been training on my own during my break because I really need to catch up with the other players.

"I think the first match of the season will be very important so I don't want to get myself injured but I can promise I will play at my best [against Cerezo Osaka]."

Big things are expected of Kagawa after a stop-start 2012-13 season, but the playmaker understands how difficult it will be to make a starting spot his own under new manager David Moyes.

He added: "Last year, I knew there would be a lot of competition within the team for me to be in the starting line-up. I knew it's a big club and it would happen.

"I really need to show results and there are so many things I have to do like work hard every day. I will be playing in my home country tomorrow and I want to focus on the game to be able to perform at my best."