ERDING RALLIES RENNES FANS
Mevlut Erding has called on Rennes' fans to forget their embarrassing French Cup defeat to Quevilly and instead focusing on getting behind their team in Saturday's Brittany derby at Brest.
Amateurs Quevilly recorded one of the biggest upsets in the history of French football when they beat Rennes in the semi-final of the French Cup 10 days ago.
Frederic Antonetti's men responded by beating Nice 3-1 at home on Monday, but it was clear the defeat to the third-tier opposition last week still rankled with the Rennes supporters, who booed their team on several occasions throughout the game.
Their sole focus now is qualifying for the Europe via the league, where they trail fourth-placed Lyon by two points.
Erding understands why the Rennes fans were disappointed with their cup exit, but insists it is important that the away fans get behind their team on Saturday at the Stade Francis-Le Ble.
"We know the fans were very disappointed but so were we," the Turkey striker told Rennes' website.
"After the match, no one spoke on the bus for two hours. I do not think anyone could sleep. It really affected us but now, we need their support to try to finish the season well.
"We want to make up the loss to Quevilly. Everyone is still disappointed. We want to win as many matches to cap off the season. This requires a huge commitment and seriousness."
On paper they could have hardly wished for a better opponent than their local rivals on Saturday.
Brest are only outside the relegation zone by virtue of goal difference having won just one of their last seven games.
Erding expects Alex Dupont's men to be up for a fight, however.
"They have one of the best defences in the league," he said.
"There will be a lot of commitment. We will have to concentrate as the test will be rigorous, but we want that fourth place. "I'd be disappointed if we didn't qualify for Europe now."
Kader Mangane (ankle) will be the only man missing for Rennes but Brest will be without five players through injury or suspension.
Dupont is convinced his team can survive the drop despite their recent form and injury problems.
"Despite the loss, my team has been resilient," he said.
"It is with this mindset that we will play until the end of the season.
"I believe in my team when I see that they do not give up and this is the case now."
Brest are without Auxerre loanee Issam Jemaa, who is suspended, and injured quartet Brahim Ferradj (knee), Jonathan Ayite (thigh), Diallo Guidileye (knee), and Yoann Bigne (ankle).
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