Robin van Persie has warned his Manchester United team-mates that they can expect tough but ultimately rewarding training sessions under Louis van Gaal.
Speaking from the Netherlands training camp, Van Persie said that sessions under Van Gaal were demanding, with 75-minute bursts of intense activity designed to get the most out of the whole squad.
Last season, David Moyes’ training sessions were intense as they focused purely on fitness but with Van Gaal, the ball is the focus sessions which can only be a good thing for improving the quality of United’s football.
“Every training session is very intense. He is on our backs every minute. There is no space to relax, he demands full focus,” Van Persie said.
“We work very hard for a maximum 1.25 hour, never longer. But these 75 minutes are enormously intense.”
Van Persie’s relationship with van Gaal is a major reason why the forward is being considered a strong candidate for the United captaincy next season, something van Persie was keen to point out.
“I never had a relationship with a coach like I have with Van Gaal – it’s very special,” he enthused.
In a separate interview with Dutch newspaper Sp!ts, van Persie said van Gaal’s methods were harsh, but fair.
“He has a different approach to the other coaches I’ve worked under, but I like it a lot,” he said.
“He is very clear and honest – he says when something is good and when something is not good, but there is always room for discussion.
“He creates a very relaxed atmosphere, but he is typically Dutch: direct. Boom! He has only one aim, and that is to improve. I don’t find that exhausting – I find it energising. Wonderful.”
After a virtually injury-free campaign during his first season, Van Persie started just 18 games Premier League games under Moyes but many expect him to return to his very best under Van Gaal next year and judging by how enthusiastic he has been since his appointment, there’s every chance that could happen.