Sir Alex Ferguson still believes Manchester United have a chance of retaining their Premier League title.
The Old Trafford club lie seventh in the table, 14 points adrift of leaders Arsenal with 16 games remaining.
But Ferguson, who stepped down as United manager last May, insisted the league champions are still in the hunt.
"I'm not writing anyone off," said the 72-year-old Scot, adding United, now managed by David Moyes, are always strong in the second half of a season.
Speaking to BBC sports editor David Bond, Ferguson praised the top six - Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs, Everton and Liverpool - but said United are "in behind them chasing".
The Old Trafford giants have struggled in Moyes's first season in charge having been eliminated from both the FA Cup and Capital One Cup, although they progressed smoothly into the last 16 of the Champions League.
United also suffered three successive defeats for the first time since 2001 in seven days in January, beaten by Tottenham, Swansea and Sunderland.
They are six points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool and risk missing out on the Champions League for the first time since 1995.
Ferguson added: "I find it very difficult to pick the top four. I find it even more difficult to say who is going to win the league."
Moyes qualified for the Champions League once with Everton in 2005, but they were eliminated by Villarreal in the play-off round.
The 50-year-old took charge of United following 11 years at Goodison Park after Ferguson recommended his fellow Scot should succeed him as manager at Old Trafford.
The former boss, who was appointed as a Uefa coaching ambassador on Friday, said he "cannot understand" why some clubs make so many managerial changes, and that the constant upheaval is detrimental.
Ferguson stressed United will not go down that route, adding: "It seems so stupid to me."