Europe not essential for Julien Stéphan’s future as Rennes manager

Julien Stéphan took over from Bruno Génésio in the middle of the season for Stade Rennais at the request of the owner François Pinault. The club’s development had stalled under Génésio and a loss to at the time bottom placed and winless Olympique Lyonnais was enough to see the manager given his marching orders. 

According to L’Équipe, expectations were low and Stéphan’s remit was clear: to improve the team’s performance. Outside of steering a moderately expensive and talented group of players away from a slide down the bottom of the table, Stéphan had no external pressures. 

The interim manager has returned a winning mentality to a Rennes side that had only won twice in twelve games before appointing him. The club became the most in form team in the league as they went on a seven-game winning streak that has seen them rise up the table and perch just outside of the European positions. 

Stéphan likely to be offered contract extension

Such has been the improvements under Stéphan that he will likely be offered a contract extension beyond the end of the season regardless of whether Rennes finish in a European place or not. 

However, the interim manager has yet to play his cards on the table, as he stated before the loss to FC Lorient, “What concerns us most is to continue to mobilise our energy for this locker room… We’ll talk, we’ll see what happens. We came in a very specific context with a short-term mission. If the club is happy with our work and wants to continue, we’ll be delighted and we’ll discuss.

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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