After a gutsy victory over Everton, Van Persie admitted: “The whole squad realise that because we still have to play against the big teams there are lots of big tests for us on the way. We cannot really afford to lose any — especially at home and also away against some of the so-called smaller teams.
“But in this league you do not really have small teams, just look at Hull, they are doing fantastic.
“Against teams like Bolton and Blackburn, the mental aspect is more important than the way we want to play. Last season we played fantastic for three-quarters of the season and then suddenly everything fell down.
“I do not know if the reason was mental, maybe it was a bit of everything, but we learned a lot from last year as well.”