Kagawa cloud casts more gloom for Manchester United coach

The backup player is also a fitness doubt with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie also missing the game on Saturday.

David Moyes, left, would be eager to see Shinji Kagawa back on the pitch today. Michael Regan / Getty Images
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As if the state of affairs was not already complicated for Manchester United and manager David Moyes, the availability of Shinji Kagawa for today’s Premier League encounter with Newcastle United is in doubt.

The Japan playmaker became ill immediately after Wednesday night’s 1-0 home loss to Everton.

“Shinji has a sickness bug,” Moyes said. “We need to see how he is on Saturday, but he wasn’t too good after the game.”

With Wayne Rooney suspended, Moyes could do with Kagawa being available, because Robin van Persie has been missing for two weeks with groin and toe injuries.

The United manager refused to say if the Dutchman could feature against Alan Pardew’s men.

“You can ask, that doesn’t mean I will answer,” he said. “Like every club, we have a few injuries. Some have a chance and some don’t.”

Everton’s first victory at Old Trafford since 1992 led to a storm of criticism being unleashed on Moyes, who attempted to brush it off yesterday.

“It’s football isn’t it?” he said. “It can happen at any club and it has happened here. I hoped it wouldn’t, but it has. It was our first defeat in 13 games. Now I hope we can do something very similar in the coming games.”

Moyes insisted the situation is not as bad as it has been characterized. Neither did he feel the performance on Wednesday warranted the kind of training-ground reaction some had suggested was required.

“I think I saw a response in the game,” he added. “We weren’t that bad that I felt we needed a big response. People who watched the game, they would have got lots of belief from it. There were chances in the game we didn’t take. It could quite easily have been very different. “Unless you are someone who doesn’t understand the game, too much you would have seen that.

“These are good players. They have been here before. They know what is expected of them. They will do the right things.”

Moyes insisted that United would do “everything we possibly can” to haul back leaders Arsenal, who have opened up a 12-point lead on the Old Trafford outfit. There is a widespread expectation that new faces will be courted during next month’s transfer window, something Moyes confirmed.

“The club has always thought about strengthening,” he said. “You do that every transfer window. We will try and make that happen.”

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