Alex Ferguson may have eschewed naming Jose Mourinho as his successor in 2013, but he believes Manchester United's 17-game unbeaten run is a reflection of their manager's ultra-competitive mentality.
United last lost on November 3, away to Fenerbahce in the Europa League, while their most recent league defeat came at hands of title-favourites Chelsea on October 23.
However, until their victory over Spurs on December 11, they had managed just one Premier League win in eight games which is why, despite the unbeaten run, they remain in sixth place, four points from the Champions League places.
Ferguson, though, has been impressed by United's increased resilience which, he says, will have been absorbed from Mourinho.
"That is the obvious observation I am making of the team now. The team is mirroring its manager. It is playing with great energy, determination and will to win, which I think is really important," Ferguson told the BBC.
Mourinho was twice sent to the stands earlier in the season during frustrating games against Burnley and West Ham but Ferguson has noticed a more measured demeanour from the Portuguese and is confident that is how it will from remain going forward.
"There was a period earlier in the season when he wasn't getting the decisions and his emotions boiled over.
"He is an emotional guy, there is no question about that. People from these countries, Portugal, Spain, Italy, have got that emotional part of them.
"It showed very much in terms of how Jose handled that part. You see him now. He is calm and in control," he added.
Having won 2-0 in the first leg, United travel to Hull City tomorrow looking to book their place in the EFL Cup final.