Marseille coach Elie Baup has given his backing to much-maligned defender Jeremy Morel ahead of Sunday's Ligue 1 meeting with his former club Lorient.
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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.
Sunday'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."