Rene Girard, who led Montpellier to a Ligue 1 title in 2012 ahead of big-spending Paris Saint-Germain, believes that Leicester City are capable of achieving the same feat.
The French side, led by current Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, had an annual budget smaller than the amount their title rivals PSG spent on Javier Pastore that season, and Girard admits that mind games helped them considerably in their journey to their first Ligue 1 title in the club’s history.
“I tried to put Carlo Ancelotti and PSG under pressure. I made sure I was prepared before every press conference. You have to take the passion out of it and take the pressure off of your players, the 61-year old told BBC Football.
“When we were trailing by one or two points we always said ‘they are favourites, they are favourites’. And to be fair it was true. If there was a team built to win the title it was PSG, not us. But that was my job. With the players, I used the press to my advantage.
“In every pre-match press conference in the last 10 games I was asked, ‘can you win it? can you win it?’ I’d say ‘no we can’t win it’. We tried to put the pressure on the other teams, particularly PSG.”
The former Lille boss also had a bit of advice to offer Renieri and his charges as they prepare for the final run-in for the coveted Premiership title.
“I would say don’t change a thing, keep going as you are now. Stay yourselves.
“You can see that desire, you can see that they are not asking too many questions, you can see that they are playing with freedom. I know Ranieri from his time at Monaco.
“He is someone I really respect. He knows better than anyone how to manage this. It looks like a group who know they can achieve something special. Don’t let any players leave the mould that you created at the start of the season.”