Luciano Spalletti concedes bridging the gap to Serie A champions Juventus will be difficult but the Inter head coach sees Friday's Derby d'Italia as the perfect opportunity to start making inroads.
The Nerazzurri travel to the Allianz Stadium trailing the leaders by 11 points after 14 rounds of action, their title hopes seemingly in tatters well before the mid-way point of the season.
Following one victory from their opening four games of the campaign, Inter embarked on a seven-match winning streak, although that progress has been checked slightly by a recent 4-1 thrashing at Atalanta and a 2-2 draw with Roma last time out.
But speaking to the media on Thursday ahead of the trip to Turin, Spalletti preferred to see the clash as an ideal chance to make up three points on the seven-time defending champions.
"They'll lose if they only think about stopping us. We play to beat every team, but I believe it more now," said Spalletti, who also confirmed Dalbert and Radja Nainggolan remain unavailable for selection due to injury.
"The team are growing now and are becoming more and more complete in terms of attitude. We've had some good games recently.
"There's a big gap at the top and the bad news is that catching them will be difficult, but the good news is this is the first step towards that and it's in our hands.
"We still lack some focus during games, but we're a great team in terms of names and how we read games.
| #Spalletti: "There's a significant gap in the table, it will be difficult to make it up. This is the bad news. The good news is that the chance of closing the deficit is on us and we'll play to do so tomorrow." #JuventusInter pic.twitter.com/73QDywQQi3— Inter (@Inter_en) December 6, 2018
"We must think the teams we face aren't so strong and can't move us off track. On my part, there's no surrender to Juventus.
"Things come to an end when you stop trying and are no longer convinced by your qualities, not when you lose a game."
Spalletti also pointed to Juve's ability to repeatedly poach the best players from their direct rivals as a way to strengthen their position, as well as referring to the blockbuster €112million transfer that saw Cristiano Ronaldo arrive from Real Madrid in July.
"Juventus buy players who make a difference every year. Three years ago when I was at Roma, Juve swooped in for [Miralem] Pjanic, who was perhaps our best player, together with [Daniele] De Rossi," he added.
"Last year we had one of the best full-backs in the League in [Joao] Cancelo and they signed him, plus they took [Gonzalo] Higuain from Napoli.
"They're players who help you grow in an attacking sense. This year they've signed a champion in Cristiano Ronaldo, and you can't put the mentality he offers them into words."
|Gundogan to renew contract talks with Manchester City|
|Folau opts not to appeal against Rugby Australia ban, still considering options|
|Nadal clear French Open favourite – Djokovic|
|Nedved: No Juve decision amid Sarri and Inzaghi links|
|Gil Marin: We need players totally committed to Atletico|
|Gardner´s big game helps Yankees pull away from Rays|
|This is playoff basketball – Leonard on playing through injury in Raptors win|
|Second most NRL games and 99 tries – Cronk´s career in Opta numbers|
|Spieth: I´m almost back at my best|
|Three takeaways from Raptors´ key Game 3 win over Bucks|
|Trail Blazers star Lillard addresses rib injury|
|Raptors top Bucks in double-OT thriller|
|MLS Review: Nani brace lifts Orlando, Galaxy stunned by Rapids|
|Cronk: It´s been one hell of a ride|
|Johnson upbeat despite falling short|
|Koepka holds on at US PGA – how a dramatic back nine unfolded at Bethpage Black|
|´Phenomenal´ and ´mind-blowing´ – Koepka basks in US PGA triumph|
|NRL great Cronk to retire at season´s end|
|Kevin Muscat to leave Melbourne Victory|
|Bethpage wobble does little to deny Koepka´s status as golf´s dominant major force|
|Brooks Koepka´s timeline of major dominance following US PGA triumph|
|Koepka relieved to retain US PGA title after ´stressful´ finish|
|Allegri seeking a challenge, not a sabbatical|
|Koepka retains PGA title despite back-nine collapse|
|Spalletti tells players to prove they´ve the bottle to play for Inter|
|City want to dominate English football forever, says Laporte|
|Fernando Alonso fails to quality for Indy 500|
|Bordeaux collapse to costly defeat, Stade hopes dashed by Montpellier|
|Valverde pessimistic about Coutinho, Dembele playing in Copa final|
|Koepka collapse sets up grandstand finale at PGA|
|Everyone would want our situation - De Bruyne not concerned by Champions League failure|
|Mbappe drops PSG exit hint|
|Guardiola: I´ll be judged on Champions League record at Man City|
|Gattuso thankful to Milan penalty hero Donnarumma|
|Johnson cuts Koepka lead to four with nine to play at Bethpage|
|Arthur ´very confident´ in Pakistan CWC hopes despite losing streak|
|Juventus 1 Atalanta 1: Mandzukic spares Allegri from defeat in home finale|
|Napoli 4 Inter 1: Spalletti´s side crushed as Champions League race goes to the wire|
|Woakes: World Cup wait makes for nervy Monday|
|Koepka retains control of PGA after early wobble|
|Tsonga topples Lajovic in Lyon|
|Galatasaray edge derby to retain Super Lig title|
|Sabalenka ends clay drought in style with Strasbourg success|
|Here´s to you, Vincent Kompany – The giant of Manchester City´s changing times|
|Wonderful Woakes stars as England wrap up 4-0 win|
|AC Milan 2 Frosinone 0: Piatek and Suso keep top-four hopes intact|
|Messi equals Zarra´s record with sixth Pichichi award|
|Ireland outclass Afghanistan in Belfast|
|Ligue 1 sensation Pepe to leave Lille|
|Paderborn clinch promotion back to the Bundesliga|
|Five player-manager success stories for Kompany to follow|
|Nadal breaks 2019 duck by downing Djokovic for ninth Rome crown|
|Roglic pounces on Campenaerts´ misfortune to apply pressure to Giro leader Conti|
|Eibar 2 Barcelona 2: Two-goal Messi moves four clear of Mbappe in Golden Shoe race|
|Dominant Koepka chasing history in final round of US PGA|
|Betis confirm Setien departure|
|Celtic´s Boyata agrees to join Hertha Berlin|
|´I have lived the dream´: Kompany´s best moments at Manchester City|
|Zidane vows to make changes as Navas & Bale face uncertain futures|
|MotoGP Raceweek: Marquez masters Le Mans to make it three wins in four|
|We are the guilty ones - Marcelo says Madrid players must accept responsibility|
|Ten trophies, 360 appearances, 20 goals - Kompany´s Manchester City career in numbers|
|Pliskova seals Rome title with straight-sets win|
|De Bruyne, Neville and a rock ´n´ roll star pay tribute to captain fantastic Kompany|
|Perth Glory 0 Sydney FC 0 (aet, 1-4 on penalties): Redmayne the hero in A-League Grand Final|
|Real Madrid 0 Real Betis 2: Zidane´s men humbled in final-day defeat|
|Joshua-Wilder must be next, no excuses - Hearn|
|Trail Blazers need effort over strategy in Game 4 against Warriors - Stotts|
|Fans to receive 82 per cent of Euro 2020 tickets|
|Green: Arguing with officials made me disgusting to watch|