The Japan midfielder a £17 million buy from Borussia Dortmund in June 2012 endured another setback in his efforts to win over the new United manager by being substituted at half-time for “tactical reasons” during the 2-1 defeat against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

He has made just four appearances for United this season and is yet to complete a full 90 minutes under Moyes. Despite his popularity among the fans the Japanese admits that his withdrawal against West Bromwich Albion has underlined the challenge he now faces to remain at Old Trafford.

“I have to take this like some kind of message [from the manager]” he told Japanese newspaper The Hochi Simbun. “I need to improve more and more or I cannot survive at this club. I have to take this in a positive way and keep trying to do my best.

“I wasn’t involved that much [against West Brom] and I didn’t touch the ball enough but I was trying to be patient so I didn’t feel that bad at half-time. I thought I would have been able to find some space to create the chances in the second half so in that sense I was disappointed to have been substituted.”

Moyes has insisted that Kagawa’s delayed start to the season caused by an extended summer break following Confederations Cup duty has made it difficult for the player to stake a claim in his team but the Scot has also stressed the need for the player to overcome competition for his place.