Shinji Kagawa, who is reportedly close to a deal with Manchester United, said he was annoyed about failing to score in Japan's 3-0 drubbing of Oman in their World Cup qualifier at the weekend.
"It was frustrating because the three others on the frontline scored a goal each," the Borussia Dortmund star told Japanese media on Sunday after the Blue Samurai's opening match at home in the final Asian qualifying round.
"I must fight it out more in the penalty area," added the 23-year-old, who did have a hand in each of the goals and registered three shots out of the team's 17.
Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni put J-League striker Ryoichi Maeda up front with CSKA Moscow's Keisuke Honda behind him, a position usually played by Kagawa at Dortmund.
Kagawa, instead, was placed to the left of Honda with Stuttgart striker Shinji Okazaki to the right.
"I'm not a player who creates chances there. I could not move in further," said Kagawa.
Honda opened the scoring in the 12th minute and Jubilo Iwata's Maeda, a two-time J-League top scorer, doubled the account from a Kagawa pass on 51 minutes. Okazaki made it 3-0 three minutes later.
But Kagawa put his personal disappointment behind him.
"It was great that we won the opening (match) which I thought was important. I want to refocus on our next match which is coming soon," he said.
Japan, reigning Asian champions, will play Jordan in their next Group B qualifier on Friday, again in Saitama, north of Tokyo.
The group includes Australia and Iraq.
German weekly Kicker reported last week that Dortmund had agreed to sell Kagawa to Manchester United for 15 million euros ($18.6 million).
He has scored 21 goals in 49 Bundesliga appearances for Borussia since moving from J-League's Cerezo Osaka in mid-2010, helping the German side win back-to-back league titles.