Nice defender Renato Civelli has hailed manager Claude Puel's impact in transforming the club's fortunes ahead of Saturday's Ligue 1 clash against Lyon.
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Nice finished 13th last season with a total of 42 points but are currently fifth in the overall standings having already amassed a tally of 29 with seven wins and eight draws.
Puel had his contract terminated by Lyon in 2011 despite having a year remaining and joined Nice in May this year on a three-year deal.
The 51-year-old already claimed some bragging rights over his former club when Nice beat Lyon 3-1 in the Coupe de la Ligue round of 16 in October.
Civelli praised Puel, who has also managed Lille and Monaco, after OGCN's strong start to the season.
"He brought us his experience. And no doubt about it, he has 10 years of a management career behind him and that is a record that can not be disputed," Civelli told L'Equipe.
"He has broad shoulders and it absorbs all the pressure. When you're young, it takes away the burden of responsibility and to be left alone to play, it is a huge relief. This is great."
Lyon coach Remi Garde sees the match as a chance for revenge against Nice following the cup defeat.
He told the club's official website: "Indeed, we've played against this team in the League Cup and missed. It serves as a reference on what to do and not do."
However, Garde was quick to play down Puel's return to the Stade de Gerland.
"I am focused on the game that we have to play," Garde said when asked about Puel. "Nice is a team with qualities and that is what concerns me "