Sport Soccer

Saturday 20 January 2018

United not weakened by Ferguson exit – Van Persie

New signing Robin Van Persie (left) with manager Sir Alex Ferguson following a press conference at Old Trafford, Manchester in August 2012.
New signing Robin Van Persie (left) with manager Sir Alex Ferguson following a press conference at Old Trafford, Manchester in August 2012.

Mark Ogden

Robin van Persie says Manchester United will prove wrong any rival clubs who view the retirement of Alex Ferguson as a sign of weakness at Old Trafford.

Van Persie scored the fifth goal in United's 5-1 victory against the A-League All-Stars in Sydney on Saturday as David Moyes secured his first win as manager since succeeding Ferguson at the end of last season.

With Ferguson vacating his position after almost 27 years in charge, though, Van Persie admits that the club's title rivals could be boosted by the change of management at United.

But the Dutch forward, who was due to arrive in Tokyo this morning with the rest of the squad on the next leg of United's pre-season tour, insists that he and his team-mates are determined to prove that success can continue under Moyes.

"Of course, they can think what they what to think and they may think that we are weaker now," Van Persie said. "But it doesn't matter to us.

"What matters to us is the way that we work. Trust me, we will work very hard. It's a huge challenge to all of us and it's one we are looking forward to.

"Of course, we have to improve to stay ahead of our rivals because over the last few years the English league has become better and better.

Harder

"Every single team has got harder to beat. When you go away you have to perform 100pc otherwise you may lose.

"But everyone wants to be successful and David Moyes wants to be successful.

"He has been working very hard and he has spoken to every single player individually. It's his first couple of weeks, so let's get to know each other.

"But it looks very good. He is very nice and he works very well. It's only based on a few sessions, but I loved them."

Van Persie scored 30 goals in 48 appearances for United following his £22m transfer from Arsenal last season, a contribution which Moyes admits was crucial to the club's title success. But despite the expectation that followed his transfer, Van Persie claims he never felt under pressure to deliver at United.

"No, not at all," Van Persie said. "I was very hungry last year but now I am more hungry. We have a great bunch of players, so we can win more and do better. I always try to do better than the day before, so yes, I can do better than last year.

"I just see big opportunities. I still have more years left and it's not like I am saying: 'Yeah, we won the league, so that's me done.'

"I want more now, I want to win more this time and the club wants to win more." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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