Marseille coach Elie Baup has given his backing to much-maligned defender Jeremy Morel ahead of tomorrow's Ligue 1 meeting with his former club Lorient.
The full-back moved to the south coast in 2011 and struggled to win over the fans in his first season at the club.
But Baup has praised the 28-year-old's contribution to the cause as OM look to stay firmly in contention at the top of the table.
``Since I've been here, he has shown attacking skill and also fighting spirit and a top attitude,'' he said on the club website.
``I have heard and read what was said about him, but his battling qualities and commitment to the team are exemplary.
``It's good to have players like that as a coach.''
Morel has been an improved player under Baup this term and admitted things are going ``better now than they did last year''.
Marseille go into the weekend's fixtures just two points behind leaders Lyon, but on the back of an embarrassing 3-0 defeat away to AEL Limassol in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Baup fielded a much-changed team in that dead rubber, with his side already out, but will still want a response in their first home match since a 4-1 thrashing by Lyon.
Tomorrow's opponents Lorient have won just once away from home in the league this term, but go into the game on the back of a 1-0 home win over Toulouse.
Coach Christian Gourcuff told the club website: ``Marseille are a quality team who will play a leading role in Ligue 1 so we will have to have a lot of humility.''