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Ivory CoastIvory Coast
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Joris Gnagnon admits things aren't easy at struggling Rennes

Ivory Coast defender Joris Gnagnon is still confident that struggling Stade Rennais can turn things around in their Brittany derby against Guingamp this weekend.

Les Rouges et Noirs have endured a slow start to the season, and currently sit down in 15th having won just one of their opening eight fixtures.

20-year-old Gnagnon has conceded that things have been difficult in the Rennes camp, but is confident they can turn things around imminently.

"Mentally, it's not been easy, our results aren't good, but we've really felt this week that we've had a desire to do something for the club, for the people who follow us," Gnangon told L'Equipe on Thursday. "We have a derby to prepare for, and we're hungry and desperate to win."

During Rennes' sluggish start to the season, Gnagnon has been one of the club's better performers; he scored in their 3-1 victory away at Marseille, and also contributed an assist in the defeat at Toulouse.

However, defensively, he's fallen far from the standards that set him apart as one of the brightest young stoppers in the African game last season.

"There was a meeting this Thursday morning with all of the players," he continued. "It was the experienced players' initiative - Benjamin Andre, Romain Danze, Morgan Amalfitano, Ludovic Baal - all the players wanted to meet.

"Things were said, and it was a great step forward," he added. "It's been a while since we last did that."

Rennes can begin their revival on Saturday when they meet Guingamp away at the Stade de Roudourou in a Breton Derby.

"It's true that we're not winning," Gnagnon continued. "We're looking for points.

"Now, we're united, and we'll see what happens on Saturday. I believe in this group, otherwise I maybe wouldn't be here.

"I want to achieve something at Rennes. Here we give everyone to succeed, I don't know why we can't do it."

Despite being introduced to the Ivorian squad by Marc Wilmots, former France U-20 international Gnagnon is yet to make his Elephants. He watched on as they took just one point from their last two World Cup qualifiers, with the West African giants now needing to win their final match against Morocco in order to reach Russia.


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