Pioli: Contract extension is a sign of Milan's vision

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Stefano Pioli wanted to share the credit around after signing a contract extension to keep him as Milan coach until the end of the 2024-25 season.

Former Inter coach Pioli took over at Milan in 2019, and has overseen a rejuvenation in the Rossoneri's fortunes.

Having finished second in the 2020-21 campaign, Milan clinched their first Serie A title in 11 years last term.

Milan, who sit third in Serie A 12 games into this season, are also on the verge of qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign. They need only to avoid defeat against Salzburg on Wednesday to join Chelsea in progressing from Group E.

When asked about signing his new deal in Tuesday's pre-match press conference, Pioli said: "The credit belongs to everyone. The club is giving me great confidence.

"I am very happy with the renewal. I thanked the players because without them this renewal would not have been possible.

"We started our three-year journey, now we really care about passing [our objectives for] the season.

"I really appreciated this. The club could have extended my contract by a year, but they did it with a longer time frame.

"It is a sign of our vision, of our collaboration, to try to make Milan bigger and bigger. I really appreciated the renewal and I can only thank the owners. I have always felt appreciated."

The omens are promising for Milan, seven-time European champions, ahead of their meeting with Salzburg at San Siro, given they are unbeaten in all three of their previous encounters with the Austrian side.

They do come into the match on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Torino in Serie A, however, though Pioli – whose side lost successive matches to Chelsea before bouncing back with a 4-0 thrashing of Dinamo Zagreb – is confident Milan can get the job done.

"We are a strong team, we have values and a lot of motivation," he said. "We know the difficulties of the match. Salzburg have not lost away from home [in this season's Champions League].

"We have strong players and we play this match in front of our fans, I can tell you that we have all the right cards to do well.

"Doing well would mean a lot, we had our first goal clearly in mind. We built this possibility, it was conceivable that if we hadn't won a match with Chelsea the last one would have been decisive.

"The team now knows how to manage these heavy commitments. We are disappointed, but now it's another game."