Nantes coach Michel Der Zakarian wants his side to find their values as they prepare to face Lorient.
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Nantes have lost their last two games 2-0 - at home to Nice in the Coupe de France and at St Etienne in Ligue 1.
They face a Lorient side who were knocked out of the cup competition by fourth tier club Yzeure, ending a run of seven unbeaten games, all of which were in the top flight.
Lorient's recent form has left Der Zakarian under no illusions as to how tough it will be to wrestle the points away from them at La Beaujoire-Louis-Fonteneau on Sunday.
"We need to find our values and defend well to cause problems in Lorient," he said in a press conference.
"Against Nice, we had forgotten some of the basics. We do not have the quality to go up the field all of the time. We need to get the ball in the right areas.
"Lorient are in a positive dynamic in the league, with six wins and a draw in the last seven games. This team defends well."
Nantes goalkeeper Remy Riou, who spent a season on loan at Lorient in 2006, is surprised by his side's seventh place in the league standings.
He told www.fclweb.fr: "Yes, it's true. We have a very good start to the championship. We were not necessarily expecting this place at the beginning of the season. It's nice to be in the first part of the table.
"We must be very solid defensively (against Lorient), creative on the offensive in order to annoy the team. We know that it is always difficult to face a 4-4-2 of Christian Gourcuff. We must be focused and applied."
Lorient coach Gourcuff named his squad of 18 players for the match on Friday.
Midfielder Yann Jouffre, who missed the Coupe de France round of 32 defeat by Yzeure last Saturday, returns after recovering from a groin injury but Fabien Audard (back), Mathieu Coutadeur (Achilles) and Fabien Robert (ankle) remain on the injury list.