Simeone: Stability key for Atletico
Diego Simeone believes stability in the Atletico Madrid set-up is the most important aspect of his coaching reign at the Vicente Calderon.
The Atletico coach has enjoyed a successful term in the Spanish capital since his appointment 15 months ago and renewed his contract until 2017 on Tuesday to put to bed speculation linking him with a summer move to European champions Chelsea.
Speaking after confirmation of his extension, the former Argentina midfielder offered his gratitude to Atletico's stakeholders before explaining his long-term vision for the club - primarily ensuring solid foundations for future successes.
"I recall speaking to the president back in 2003 when I left as a player. I always wanted to come back here and prepared myself for that," Simeone told reporters.
"I must thank the board for their renewed confidence and absolutely the players who are the architects of where we are today. We can continue on this path, with this commitment and the project that brings us together.
"I also must thank the fans who supported us from day one and put their trust in us, knowing that every weekend we'd share their enthusiasm.
"The club can carry on building what we have been working on for the last 13 months. We have found balance and, from that, stability.
"A club's growth is based on talent, ability, commitment and responsibility of the players, so we can build a better Atletico for the future.
"We will take each game step after step because it is difficult to plan success. If we succeed, we will surely grow because there is strength, energy and ability in all areas of the squad. This fills me with pride."
Atletico are currently in a two-way tussle with arch-rivals Real Madrid for second place in La Liga and will face them in the Copa del Rey final, and Simeone hopes his side see out the campaign strongly before squad reinforcements can be considered.
"We will work (towards the cup final). We must keep on growing and working together," he added.
"The objectives are to maintain stability, keep the balance that can give us the strength to continue growing as a team and intensify competition within the squad.
"More internal competition means players perform at a higher level. Hopefully we can get into the Champions League, and from there, we can build a more competitive team.
"But we also want to give prominence to the youth team. As I said six months ago, during my stay here, I wish I could have grown more players than Koke by now."