Manchester United striker Robin van Persie believes his side’s formidable attacking force will be feared by their rivals.
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal has brought in Radamel Falcao and Angel di Maria to boost United’s attacking strengths to play alongside Wayne Rooney and Van Persie.
Although United have had a leaky defence this season, conceding 13 goals in seven games in this term’s English Premier League campaign, Van Persie says confidence is building, and has been further heartened by holding out a 2-1 home win over West Ham United despite captain Rooney’s red card.
Asked if United will be able to frighten teams with their firepower, the Dutch striker said: “I think we can be able to actually do that. If you look at these players, they are great players in their individual way.”
“But now we are working together on this project and I think games like winning 4-0 against QPR help. We had a setback against Leicester [losing 5-3], but to win in these circumstances like the weekend sends a message and shows that even in these difficult games we can win. Now we have to extend that.”
“The first half was 11 v 11 and we were playing really well as a whole team. Eight minutes later it was 10 v 11 and the whole thing changed, but the way we fought for each other was unbelievable. It was a bit nerve-wracking at times, but we dug in and we did it so it gave us a lot of confidence.”
Van Persie added that the United squad were buying into Van Gaal’s demanding philosophy, and has revealed the Dutch coach wants the players to have their say at team meetings on what is going right and wrong.
“It’s very demanding in a good way as you have to be focused every single day of the sessions or the meeting,” Van Persie said, speaking at the launch of Manchester United’s first global sustainable technology partner Abengoa.
“He wants players to get involved in the meeting too. You have to give your own input, which is what the staff likes. That’s a bit of the Dutch thing. Everybody gets involved in the project. We are all working on it. Everyone has their own say, which is maybe new for some players but not for me as I know how he works.”
“I think it’s very interesting and very good because we are all pulling on the same rope — as the Dutch say. We all have one target, which is to win and win as much as we can. If I look at what I have seen in training and on the pitch in games, I can see that it is getting much better.”
“We are improving every day and getting better. Some training sessions are incredible and we are showing that in games as well.”
Van Persie said that reaching the top four in the Premier League was a “realistic target” and that the squad were setting high standards.
He added: “We have to make at least the top four. That’s a realistic target but it’s still early in the season.”
“We are here, everybody wants to win every game, every training session and even if we are playing a different kind of game like table tennis. We are winners. We are not here just to set low standards. We want them to be as high as possible, winning games and winning trophies.”
“This year we have a great manager, great staff, great fans so when you look at everything together it makes it hard [not to be in the Champions League]. Everything is in place to be up there competing with the very best teams. I think we can do it and we will.”