Nicky Butt admits it has been an eye-opening experience returning to the club to work in a coaching capacity alongside Warren Joyce.
The Treble-winning midfielder saw his young charges lift the Barclays Under-21 Premier League trophy in dramatic circumstances at Old Trafford on Monday and is clearly learning the ropes under Joyce.
Although there is a wealth of talent at that level within the club, Butt has also insisted that making the grade at Old Trafford is just as much about character as raw ability.
"It's been an eye-opener for me this year starting with Warren's Under-21s," he told MUTV. "I'd been at the club a long time and I forgot what the Reserves were like when I was a boy here.
"You have players coming and going and you have to do what is right by the lads when the time comes for them to go out on loan. Warren will speak to the manager and send them out on loan to try and improve them. That's what the club is all about - getting the lads better and better and giving them the chance to play against older players, which we think is good, and it's a learning curve for them.
"I'm enjoying it a lot. I'm inexperienced so I've come along with Warren to learn from him and the other coaches at the club. It's totally different to what I expected and it's hard work. When you do your badges, it's all about how to prepare for the day ahead but it's impossible to do that when it changes just like that. Five minutes before training, you can be three or four players down and it's an eye-opener. You watch how all the coaches adapt so quickly and it's a learning curve for me."
Plenty of those who impressed in the win against Spurs at Old Trafford will be striving to push into David Moyes' first-team plans.
"Playing for United, you have got to have the temperament, personality and be right off the field as well," he explained. "To be a top player for United, you have got to have more than ability. It's about drive, professionalism and you must want it more than anything in the world. Hopefully, we're going to get some players through pretty soon."