Montpellier coach Rene Girard believes his side are the "ugly ducking" of the Ligue 1 title race but with a three-point advantage going into the final three matches, he has vowed to ignore the critics and chase the club's first ever top-flight title.
Girard takes his side to Rennes on Monday believing his team are still not getting the respect they deserve in the media despite outperforming their better-funded rivals.
"It makes sense to see Paris and Lille at the forefront of the title race," he told France Football. "The ugly ducking is us.
"We will be there until the end, no matter what. They make their Championship, we make ours. With three games left, there are three teams with five points between them, but I find it odd that people don't have more to say about us. I am a little disappointed, too."
Girard's comments come in the wake of a tough few days at the club in which they have given those critics plenty of material.
They would have enjoyed a five-point advantage at the top had they not missed a late penalty in a dramatic - and violent - finish to the 2-2 draw at Evian that saw both sides have two players sent off.
Younes Belhandra, one of those to be dismissed, then hit out at Olivier Giroud for not taking the penalty that Souleymane Camara missed in the 11th minute of injury time.
Girard has played down the dispute - and Belhandra has apologised - but they must still deal with the consequences in the form of suspensions as Belhandra and Marcos Estrada sit out.
They travel to play a Rennes side who slipped down to fifth when a 2-0 loss to Bordeaux ended a run of four straight wins.
"It was a bad evening, but we still have important games to play," goalkeeper Benoit Costil said after the match. "It's up to us to get as many points as possible to try and be among that group of teams who'll be playing in Europe next season."
They will be without Mevlut Erding, Kader Mangane and Vincent Pajot with injuries, while Romain Danze and Onyekachi Apam are doubts.