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Stephan steps down as Rennes coach following dismal run

Rennes coach Julien Stephan has stepped down from this position following a poor run of results this year.

The French soccer club thanked Stephan on Monday for all the “exceptional results" secured with the Brittany team, which slumped to a fourth consecutive loss in all competitions last week and has won only one game in 2021.

Stephan, who took over as Rennes head coach in 2018, led his players to a stunning victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the 2019 French Cup final. He also helped the team qualify for the Champions League group stage for the first time last season.

After an excellent start to the season, Rennes has only managed two points in its past six league matches and fell to ninth place in the standings following Friday's 2-1 loss to Nice. The loss dealt a heavy blow to Rennes' ambition of returning to Europe next season.

Rennes' only win this year came on Jan. 17 and the team is now winless in its last six league games, its worst run since a seven-game run in 2019.

Philippe Bizeul, who was deputy coach under Stephan, has been appointed as caretaker, Rennes said.

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