Luciano Spalletti is focused on securing Champions League qualification but believes Inter can gradually close the gap on Juventus.
Luciano Spalletti believes Inter are on the right track to challenge Juventus' dominance of Serie A ahead of Saturday's clash between the clubs.
Inter sit third in Serie A with five fixtures remaining, with Spalletti's side having a five-point cushion over their nearest challengers, AC Milan and Atalanta.
Juve were crowned champions for an eighth successive season when they beat Fiorentina 2-1 last time out, while they head to San Siro having lost just one of their previous 12 meetings with Inter.
Spalletti, however, feels his side are starting to close the gap, even if he conceded Inter will likely have to add more quality to their squad if they are to truly test Juve's resolve.
"This is a very important match and it's always been billed as such in the media. This rivalry is part and parcel of daily life," Spalletti told a news conference on Friday.
"This is one of the biggest fixtures in the domestic game. Juve have always led the way in recent years.
"That is why it would be important to beat them and to keep faith in the job that we are doing and chip away at the advantage they have over us so ultimately we can beat them from time to time.
"This can give us encouragement in terms of trying to close the gap on the sides above us. You also need to sign top players.
"However, you need to strike the right balance on the training ground and in matches. You need to show character. Some of that is achieved by individuals and some of that is done by the team as a whole."
Inter are unbeaten in four league games, though the run includes home draws against Atalanta and Roma, and Spalletti insists his side cannot afford to drop many more points if they are to be sure of Champions League qualification.
"We still have to obtain some crucial points and we still need some big results," Spalletti said. "As we have seen in recent weeks Serie A is very even, a number of teams have got better.
"That proves just how much professionalism there is in the Italian game and that everyone gives 100 per cent. That is ultimately what can make the difference.
"We must not let your guard down. We still have some tricky matches coming up. We need to get results in those matches because there are teams only five points behind us and they feasibly win all of their games. We still have a lot of work to do."
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