His first words were expected. This Monday, the day after his appointment as coach of Rennes - as announced by Le Parisien - replacing Bruno Genesio, Julien Stéphan appeared in front of the press, to explain the reasons for his return to the club. And what its goals were.
While he admitted that he "already had a little idea of how (Rennes) could evolve", the coach, who has signed until the end of the season, clearly stated that there was "no revolution to expect".
"I'm coming out of ten months of inactivity and when a coach comes out of ten months of inactivity, he's fresh, he's available, he's determined, he's motivated and that's what drives me today," said Stéphan, 43, who has been free since the end of his contrasting experience in Strasbourg at the beginning of 2023.
📺 Discover Julien Stéphan's full presentation to the press ⤵️
— Stade Rennais F.C. (@staderennais) November 20, 2023
The coach returns to a club where he spent nine years, including more than two years at the head of the first team (between 2018 and 2021), which he had led to a coronation in the Coupe de France and a participation in the Champions League.
They take over a Rennes side that is sluggish in the league - 13th in Ligue 1, one point ahead of the play-off place - but well on their way to qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League. "Initially, (the objective will be) to reverse the curve of results, try to restore everyone's confidence, improve the situation and regain consistency," he said.
Florian Maurice "is rather heading towards a departure", according to his president
The president, Olivier Cloarec, returned to the conditions of Bruno Genesio's departure, stressing that "it was not the position of the club at the base, clearly", but a wish of the technician. "There was a kind of wear and tear," the executive explained. "He was honest enough to say that we needed enough energy (to get back on track) and I think the batteries weren't sufficiently charged."
The manager also commented on the notable absence of Florian Maurice, the club's sporting director, who is very close to Genesio. "I'm not going to speak for Florian. If he's not present at the press conference today, it may mean that he's heading towards a departure," admitted Olivier Cloarec. "However, we know that in football, you are never safe from upheavals," he added.