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Van Persie explains what made Ferguson special

Robin van Persie, Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United
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Robin van Persie revealed the key attribute that made his former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson stand out.

Van Persie played under Ferguson for the Scot’s last season in charge of Manchester United in 2012/13, which ended in a record 20th league title at Old Trafford.

The former striker managed 30 goals and 15 assists in 48 appearances across all competitions, winning the Premier League Golden Boot in the process. He also won the club’s Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year.

Van Persie later played under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, but didn’t experience the same success. He eventually left Old Trafford in 2015 and retired last year.

Now, speaking on his time as a Red Devil, the 36-year-old has revealed that Ferguson’s ability to bring out the happiness of the squad was perhaps his greatest attribute.

Van Persie explained his theory by using Ferguson’s reaction towards losing to title rivals Manchester City in April 2013 as an example.

“What I like about Ferguson is that after one defeat – I think it was against City – he really, really trained us hard in the next couple of days,” he told the UTD Podcast.

“You could call it a punishment. But after that, he had a short meeting and he said: ‘Okay, listen. I had these couple of sessions with you done, [because] we lost the game. But now we have to forget it and we have to look forward.’

Van Persie added: “And that is a very important point as well.

“Because if you lose… you know, it happens. It can happen. But it all depends on how you react.

“If you stay unhappy, if you stay disappointed, then Ferguson always believed that your chance of winning the next game would be smaller, and I do believe so too.

“You have to, at one point, sooner rather than later, you have to give it a place and you have to move on. You have to learn from it.

“Okay, perfect, but now he just wanted everyone to chat to each other, to be happy, to make jokes and just for everyone to be themselves. He didn’t want a bad vibe for too long after defeat.”