On the eve of the UEFA Europa League's first leg of the first leg against Betis Sevilla, Rennes coach Julien Stéphan showed his enthusiasm and determination against an opponent he considers to be a favorite.
"What is your view of the form and qualities of Betis?
It's a team that bases its game a lot on possession. This is the 5th European possession since the beginning of the season, so it's a team that likes to have control of the ball, which has very good players. It has had convincing results by winning in Barcelona (3-4, November 11) or against Atletico Madrid (1-0, February 3). When we watch them play, it's pleasant. We expect a big game, they are favorites and challengers. But we have ambition and it has happened that challengers beat favorites.
How do you imagine this match going in a packed Roazhon Park?
There is no pressure. It is a privilege to play this match, there is a very strong craze in the city, it should serve us tomorrow (Thursday). I am sure there will be an incredible atmosphere and we will need public support from start to finish. After that, you'll have to master your emotions, keep your head cool, do not confuse motivation with excitement.
"I think we have arguments to annoy them"
What are the advantages of Rennes, the last French team competing in the Europa League, to thwart this team?
There is the state of mind, the organization, the discipline, the talent of the players, and our ability to produce play, to hurt the opponent when we have the ball. I think we have arguments to annoy them but we will have to make a big match. They have very specific peculiarities in their ability to bring out the ball, for example, that we will seek to counteract.
After, our presence at this stage shows that the club is growing and moving forward. It will allow us to gain experience, but it is important to remember that there are two rounds, four half-times at a minimum, so there are different behaviors that can be adopted. Nothing will be finished after tomorrow's match. "
J. Ri., In Rennes