Julien Stéphan : « You have to consider the opportunity it represents in your career »

On Wednesday evening, Stade Rennais F.C. face Paris SG in the semi-finals of the Coupe de France. The staircase will be high but not impossible to climb. Here's a look back at the key points from Julien Stéphan's pre-match press conference.

Julien Stéphan
© Stade Rennais F.C.

Paris in the semi-finals : 
« We have a Coupe de France semi-final to play, and it's an honour for us and the club to be at this stage of the competition. We have a magnificent match in the schedule. You have to consider the opportunity it represents in a career to play this type of match, not a chance, because the players deserved to reach the semi-final. The draw didn't give us the easiest match, but that's part of the journey. When we won it five years ago, we had to beat the top three teams in the league to go all the way. It's very difficult to do but not impossible. »

Bouncing back after Strasbourg :
« Accidents can happen, but this is the first time it's happened in four months. I'm not going to burn what I've loved for weeks and months. But we missed our game. We all missed it, but we need to concentrate on Paris, remembering what we've done so well for so long and bearing in mind that we have a formidable opponent to play against. Obviously, we'll have to perform at a different level. In Strasbourg, we were lacking in the fundamentals of the game, namely commitment, intensity and volume of runs, which were below our usual standards. »


📽🎙 1/2 CDF | PSG / Stade Rennais F.C. - Conférence de presse d'avant-match


The keys to the match : 
« We're not favourites, but I'm firmly convinced that the players have the ability to sublimate themselves. We'll have to do it anyway if we're to have any chance of getting through and reaching the final. Collectively and individually, we need to be at the top of our game. Beyond the positioning of each of us, we'll have to put in the ingredients in terms of discipline and intent. We can look back on what happened a month ago at Le Parc when we managed to cause them problems. »

Who will be the goalkeeper? :
« The deal at the start was that before each Coupe de France match we would have a meeting with the goalkeepers. There was no commitment made to either of them. In February, with the very busy schedule, Steve Mandanda needed a break. For this semi-final, we're opting for ultra-experience. It's not a disavowal, but it's obviously logical that there should be some disappointment. It's the hardest decision I've had to make in human terms since I came back, but we need Steve's experience because our squad is young. »

Coupe de France / semi-final
Paris Saint-Germain / Stade Rennais F.C.
Wednesday 03 April 2024 - 9.10pm CET
Parc des Princes