Nice midfielder Fabrice Abriel has welcomed the club's upturn in fortunes this season and believes better could yet be achieved in the years to come.
The Mediterranean side have struggled to kick on since winning promotion to Ligue 1 in 2002, finishing inside the top 10 on just four occasions in 11 years since - and never higher than eighth place.
Claude Puel's men appear to have turned the tide and sit in fifth place ahead of tomorrow's visit of Lorient, outside the European berths on goal difference only.
Twelve goals from Dario Cvitanich, who signed from Ajax last summer, has been key to Nice's improvement, and Abriel is bullish about the club's prospects going forward.
``Nice has a big potential at its base,'' Abriel said of the popular holiday destination on the Cote d'Azur.
``The people, quality of life, education, infrastructure.
``The team can also drive it forward. When the results are positive, the growth of the club is accelerated, and that can only unite even more people around the project.''
Reflecting on the club's strong start to the season, Abriel added: ``We always hope to do the best that is possible - to win, surprise and beat the odds.
``Our initial goal was to maintain our league status fairly quickly.
``Between the new coach and many newcomers, we found a lot of hope. We found a player capable of scoring goals and that enhanced the work of the whole group.''
Lorient, too, are enjoying a solid campaign and head to Nice in ninth place, albeit looking to reverse a sequence of just one win in five.
``This is a very good football operation,'' Abriel said of Lorient.
``In the same way that Paris is a financial power, Lorient is a model of good management. They can be ambitious in this league.''
Lorient have been dealt a blow, however, after it was revealed that star forward Alain Traore had been ruled out for up to six weeks with a thigh injury picked up on African Nations Cup duty with Burkina Faso.