Cristian Chivu has called on his Inter Milan side to be more consistent and clinical if they are to stand any hope of catching Juventus in the second half of the season.
The Romanian was asked whether Juve could be caught and, whilst careful to be respectful of what the champions have achieved, he was eager to point out the potential of Andrea Stramaccioni's rapidly-improving team.
"Juve are the team to beat, we know how good they are but there's still half the season to go," Chivu told RAI Sport. "Technically speaking there's not a lot between us and perhaps they have a slight psychological edge, being reigning champions. We need more consistency now and need to beat the smaller teams.
"We're a side that still needs to improve but we've shown we can get big results, that's why we're second. We've made progress and will continue to do so. I'd have taken second in December, had you asked me back in August so now we'll keep working."
The defender, 32, was speaking at the Nerazzurri Christmas party and reflected on the injury which has kept him out of action since early August as well as identifying his role in the side when he eventually does return.
He told them: "I've tried not to get too worked up about these last four months and just get over the injury, and here I am, I'm over it. There were complications which meant I needed a second operation but now I feel fit enough to help out.
"What's my position? Centre-back, I haven't got the legs to play left-back any more! Either way we've already spoken about it, I'll play centrally and of course there'll be competition for places because all our centre halves are excellent, but that's a good thing."