AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso urged his side to repeat their performance from Saturday’s defeat to Juventus in Wednesday’s derby against Inter.
The Rossoneri put in an encouraging performance at the Allianz Stadium, eventually succumbing 3-1 to two late goals.
Wednesday’s Derby della Madonnina now carries extra weight for Milan, who must close the eight-point gap on their city rivals quickly.
“Inter have changed in recent weeks, they’ve scored 10 goals and conceded zero,” Gattuso stated in his pre-match press conference.
“They’re in good form and some players have got back to their best. We’re also in form, we did well against Juventus and after years the derby is back to being something significant.
“I hope we can repeat our performance at Juventus Stadium.
“The fans have to be good in pushing us, they’re already done their share by breaking the record for sales, now we have to fire them up with a good start.
“We’re experiencing a different atmosphere now, the fans are always proud of us after every game. We need to improve our mentality and desire, fight with a knife between our teeth.
“It’s a derby, a clash in which the team lower in the table often wins. Inter have quality, they’re in form and they’re playing good football.
“They’re back to being the team that played so well three months ago, so we’ll need an excellent game on a technical and tactical level.
“Is it a cup final? We’ve been playing a cup final for some time, we know we can’t get it wrong because we’re chasing.
“Tomorrow will be a difficult game like all the others.”
Captain Leonardo Bonucci claimed earlier in the week that Milan must buy top international players in order to raise the levels in training.
“Bonucci has to be a captain, I didn’t like what he said,” Gattuso responded.
“Now we need to pedal with our heads down until the end of the season. I don’t want his words to be exploited, I don’t want anyone saying he decides what happens at Milan.
“Few have the mentality of Leo and those were his words at that moment. But we have staff, directors and a club here, where we need lads like him is on the pitch and in the dressing room.
“I have a direct relationship with my lads, they know what I want and what I think, I don’t want to see anyone getting offended.
“With [Hakan] Calhanoglu, we talked and it’s all ok.”