Montanier: Rennes on the up
Montanier returned to his homeland to take the reins at Rennes after a successful stint in charge of La Liga outfit Real Sociedad, whom he guided into the UEFA Champions League.
The 49-year-old has had a somewhat mixed debut campaign in Ligue 1, the Breton side making a solid start before a poor run of form left them languishing in the lower echelons of the table.
However, Rennes have shown improvements on the pitch, exemplified by the club's superb cup run, which sees them take on Guingamp in Saturday's showpiece.
With Rennes seemingly heading for top-flight safety, and with cup success a realistic possibility, Montanier is optimistic about the future.
He told Ligue 1's official website: "We knew it was going to be a transition year because there were a lot of changes in the summer, and again in January.
"We've been in a constant state of rebuilding, and because we didn't get good results at the start it meant the team quickly lost its confidence and composure.
"Thanks to some good results and some good performances, the team's looking better."
Montanier reflected on the club's business in the last transfer window, and hailed his recruits' successful transition to life at Route de Lorient.
"Ola Toivonen, Kamil Grosicki and Paul Ntep have settled very quickly and they're already important players," he added.
"The team has a real spine now and the spirit is much better."