Sir Alex Ferguson thinks the added incentive of wresting the trophy back from Manchester City has fuelled United's title bid this term.
The Reds know that victory against Aston Villa on Monday night will secure a record 20th title following Tottenham's 3-1 victory over City at White Hart Lane.
After the final-day drama last summer, there has been tremendous resolve to dethrone Roberto Mancini's men and the manager is rightly proud of his players as they stand on the cusp of glory. "I think it was a big job to do," he conceded. "The way we lost it helped us really and with the fact it was City, it gave us an incentive and you’ve got to admire the focus we’ve shown this season. There has been great focus. Our resilience and the consistency has been good. Like all previous teams, they never give in and that’s a fact.
"I think the players, once they are here for two or three years, buy into the history of the club quite well. These are the qualities that have helped us to be where we are right now."
If United do overcome a Villa outfit battling against relegation then the next target must be to end the season with a winning run that would ensure Chelsea's all-time points tally is eclipsed.
"It’s not beyond the team," insisted Sir Alex. "I don’t think it is at all. You’re asking can Manchester United win five games in a row. How many times have we done that? It’s not beyond us but I think it’s about the way we approach it."