MARK Hughes insists the key to Manchester United's enduring success is the exacting standards demanded by manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

United are marching relentlessly towards an unprecedented 10th Premier League title under Ferguson's leadership, and Hughes insists that insatiable will to win stems largely from the manager.

Asked what was the biggest thing he learnt during the time he spent playing under Fergie at Old Trafford, Hughes said: "It is just his manner - the way he demanded excellence every day. He demanded from you, basically.

"You understood the standards that he set were there. He didn't have to reinforce them every day, because you knew yourself that if you dropped below them, he would recognise it.

"At the end of the day, if you play for Manchester United you want to play every week and he had the ability to stop you from playing. That is the ultimate power."

Although Hughes has great respect for the remarkable job Fergie has done at United, he rarely calls on his former mentor for advice, preferring instead to manage Rovers in his own way.

"I have never spoken to him on a regular basis," said Hughes.

"At the end of the day, you have got to stand up on your own two feet and make your own decisions."