Sir Alex Ferguson believes Tottenham's refusal to let Luka Modric join Chelsea last summer proved to be the catalyst for their best season in decades.

Spurs entertain Manchester United this weekend currently third in the Barclays Premier League and with only a replay against League One Stevenage blocking the path to an FA Cup quarter-final against Bolton.

The key, according to Ferguson, was the positive message Tottenham sent out in keeping Modric, who said: "The fact they decided to hold on to Modric against what everyone thought was a big Chelsea bid swung the players around. That was an indication that they mean business and it has worked because they have had a great season."

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