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The manager of the defending champions lamented the latest loss as the club's poor form continued in Ligue 1.

Montpellier coach Rene Girard has expressed his disappointment at suffering yet another defeat, with the champions going down 2-1 to Rennes in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

La Paillade were condemned to a fifth league defeat of the season, with the hopes of recording back-to-back titles already teetering on the brink. Girard lamented the poor display of his team, with goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren benched after criticizing the coach in the 3-2 defeat to Evian Thonon Gaillard before the international break.

"We were ineffective in defense and in attack, we gifted them goals, and it's a real shame," Girard was quoted as saying by Ligue1.com. "It always comes down to the same thing: if you have to score four goals to win a game on the road, it's always complicated. The result was in keeping with how our season has been going, and there's not much to say.

"It's a shame, because we put in a lot of effort and we created chances, but in the end it came to nothing. There are many reasons that could explain our shakiness, but ultimately we didn't take our chances when we should have.

"We need to work, work, work. There is no other solution. It's certain that our match against Nice will be very important - and very tough. We'll need our players to step up and not back down. We need to get going, and soon."

Montpellier will have an opportunity to reverse its fortunes this week, when it plays Olympiakos in the UEFA Champions League.

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