The 45-year-old left his position with the Zambia national team, whom he led to the 2012 African Nations Cup title, for his first Ligue 1 role.
He told L'Equipe: "I was not forced to come here. I could have continued in Africa, where I had plenty of offers, but it was a personal desire.
"I like the values of the club. There is a soul here and I like that. It's a fantastic challenge and I like challenges.
"We are certainly not one of the best teams in Ligue 1 and I think it is important for the club not to get ideas above their station.
"But it is about confidence, that drives everything. You have to be mentally strong. We need the players with most character."
Renard faces a daunting start to his tenure against table-topping Monaco on Sunday week, but he is relishing the test.
"Starting against Monaco is an honour for me," he said. "I will always remember: 'I started against Claudio Ranieri in Ligue 1'."
With Zambia, Renard was known for his distinctive style on the touchline with his white shirt unbuttoned at the neck, but he accepts the change of climate will force him into a new look.
"The white (shirt) in December by the (River) Doubs would not be easy," he smiled, while facing the media in a simple club-branded T-shirt. "I need to find something else and for the moment, I have not found it."