Daley Blind is hopeful Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can propel Manchester United back into the Champions League.
United faces neighbour Manchester City in a huge derby clash on Wednesday, with its top-four hopes still alive despite a 4-0 hammering at Everton on Sunday.
Blind, who signed for United in 2014, left Old Trafford to return to Ajax in the close season, and has become a crucial figure for Erik ten Hag's side in its surprise progression to the Champions League semifinals.
And, speaking after a 4-2 win over Vitesse which took Ajax three points clear at the top of the Eredivisie, Blind believes his former club are on the right track under Solskjaer despite a run of poor results.
"When Solskjaer was appointed, there was a fresh positivity," Blind, who is still in touch with several United players, told reporters.
"They started well, but now they dropped a bit. Hopefully they find their way to the top again, so they can qualify for the Champions League. I'm still a United fan, so I hope they're back in business soon.
"Some guys send me compliments. Juan Mata, [Anthony] Martial, and these are very nice things to hear. I still have a strong connection with these lads, like Ashley Young. They're such great guys. I had a good time there."
United's Premier League rival Tottenham awaits Ajax in the last four the Champions League, with ex-Ajax stars Toby Alderweireld, Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez in line to face their old club.
"I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a fantastic game," Blind added. "I'm delighted that I'm going to meet my old team-mates. To meet each other in the semifinals of the Champions League, who would have thought that in advance?
"I think every person in Amsterdam has set their mind on this game. I speak with Jan from time to time. We get along quite well, on and off the pitch. So it's going to be so much fun to meet again on the pitch."