Sir Alex Ferguson has conceded that Manchester United could have beaten West Ham earlier this week if he hadn’t subbed off Shinji Kagawa.

Kagawa had made our first equalising goal with a lovely bit of skill before his goalbound shot was deflected and then came off the woodwork to set up Robin van Persie for our second equaliser.

The manager has today talked about why he made the substitutions he did and conceded that taking Kagawa off was a mistake.

“As far as taking Rooney off the other night, it was simple: he wasn’t playing as well as Shinji was. In so many games Wayne is better than most players but on the night Shinji was playing so well,” Ferguson explained. “The ironic thing was, when we were chasing a goal with 14 minutes left, I decided to put Chicharito on and Shinji made the second goal. I’d already given the fourth official the card, Chicha was standing on the touchline and then we scored the second goal. I think if I’d have changed my decision then we would have won it. Shinji was doing really well but unfortunately he came off. Chicha came on simply because you always think he’ll get a chance in the game. At that point we wanted to win it and you make decisions like that that maybe are not fair.”

Ferguson praised Kagawa, whose progress this seson has been damaged by a long-term injury, with him settling in to the team better now.

“He’s doing very well for us now,” Ferguson added. “He has fantastic composure on the ball and his decision-making is good. He has a good selection of passes; he seems to always pick the more sensible pass. And he made a terrific first goal. There were a few involved in that build-up but he had the composure to take the player on in a tight area and roll the ball to Valencia for a tap-in. He’s doing very well.”