Jose Mourinho revealed Alex Ferguson has had little involvement since his reign at Manchester United started, but hailed the support he receives from the club's former manager.
Ferguson, now a director and club ambassador, praised Mourinho's performance as United boss in a series of interviews this week.
The Portuguese divulged that the ex-United boss has largely kept his distance from the first-team squad since his arrival, but insisted he is always welcome and is thankful for the support he has previously provided.
"Very little - very little, to be honest," Mourinho told reporters of how much Ferguson is involved.
"The support I feel is the support I always felt with him except when I was a direct competitor and playing against his teams.
"I always felt this kind of support. I felt the same when I was abroad in Italy and Spain. Friends wishing good luck and support to each other by a simple SMS - that can mean a huge amount in certain moments.
"He is very respectful too, he doesn't want to be around, doesn't want to come many times.
"I think he feels completely free because I told him that this is his house always and forever, but just a couple of times he travelled with us on the bus or train. He visited us once.
"We know that this is his club and his life. I appreciate [what he said], but I don't think I should comment.
"He is obviously an important person in the club and obviously means a lot but I don't want to comment because I wouldn't even if it was negative, I have too much respect."
United are preparing for Thursday's EFL Cup semi-final, second leg at Hull City, holding a 2-0 advantage on aggregate and a near full squad to choose from.
Mourinho said: "Everyone is available - no injuries. Marcos Rojo is back too. Eric Bailly is out of the African Cup - he is obviously not ready for Thursday but he is coming back, so no problems.
"My choices will be to try to go with a team that I think can guarantee us a good match.
"How well [new Hull boss] Marco Silva is doing is no surprise for me. I knew it. I knew that Marco was such a good coach that the team would really improve.
"He still has a very difficult job in hand, still a big fight with some other five, six, seven teams for relegation, but a good coach. Very good."