Milan's Giampaolo Pazzini believes Sunday's derby with Inter carries extra significance due to the difficult season they have endured.
Clarence Seedorf's men take on Inter at San Siro this weekend in a game that could have a substantial bearing on the race for UEFA Europa League places in Serie A.
Milan's five game-winning streak was brought to an end with a 2-0 defeat to Roma last Friday, a result that leaves Seedorf's side in 10th with three games still to play.
However, Milan are just a point behind Torino in sixth, a position that is likely to result in Europa League qualification due to Napoli and Fiorentina's participation in the Coppa Italia final.
A win over fifth-placed Inter could boost Milan's hopes of European football in 2014-15 and Pazzini, who crossed the divide to join from Inter in 2012, feels that securing local bragging rights is even more important at the end of a tumultuous season.
"This is the start of a very important week. We're coming off the back of a defeat so we need to prepare in the best possible way," Pazzini told Milan Channel.
"The derby is always a unique fixture. We're behind and there isn't long to go before the end of the season.
"We need to train in the best possible manner and give our all. I always want to do well as a former Inter man. I've never scored in the Milan derby and it would be nice to end this taboo.
"We want to give the fans the joy of a victory in the derby, especially after this tough season in which we've been in a position that Milan isn't used to.
"This derby could be a chance for us to satisfy not only ourselves but also the fans and the club.
"We'll try and get an important victory as there are only three games left to play.
"I don't look at the league table, but we need to pick up as many points as possible and then we'll see what we can do. The objective in these three matches is to get nine points."
|2||M. De Sciglio|
|34||N. de Jong||65' 89'|
|Coach: C. Seedorf|
for A. Poli 72'
for Kaká 76'
for K. Constant 85'
|Simeone marvels at Griezmann impact|
|Djordjevic to have x-ray on ankle problem|
|Eredivisie Review: PSV go seven points clear, Heerenveen cruise|
|Luis Enrique backs himself on Suarez omission|
|Lazio 3 Milan 1: Parolo and Klose seal victory|
|Cameroon 1 Guinea 1: Draw ensures Group D stays finely poised|
|Rodgers reveals Sturridge fitness boost after Bolton stalemate|
|Atletico Madrid 3 Rayo Vallecano 1: Griezmann inspires routine win|
|Gabriel move agreed, Campbell to join Villarreal on loan|
|Gabon v Equatorial Guinea: Neighbours face off for quarter-final berth|
|FA Cup Review: Chelsea stunned by Bradford as Middlesbrough beat Manchester City|
|Ronaldo apologises for red card|
|Pulis eyes room for improvement|
|Liverpool 0 Bolton Wanderers 0: Championship side frustrate Anfield to earn replay|
|Karanka hails players after stunning City|
|Elche 0 Barcelona 6: Neymar and Messi inspire resounding win|
|League Two Review: Wycombe and Burton held, Shrewsbury up to second|
|Pardew lauds Palace performance|
|Pochettino laments late collapse|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Celtic stretch lead, Inverness and Dundee United keep up chase|
|Parkinson revels in huge upset after humbling Chelsea|
|Bayern targeting unbeaten Bundesliga season - Robben|
|Pearson: FA Cup win can breed confidence|
|League One Review: Dons close gap, Peterborough end run|
|Ivory Coast 1 Mali 1: Gradel rescues Renard´s men|
|Fulham seal Richards loan|
|Pellegrini: UAE trip had no impact|
|Koeman blames defeats on defensive lapses|
|Gundogan injury mars Dortmund preparations|
|Championship Review: Ighalo stars as Blackpool capitulate|
|Chelsea defeat a ´disgrace´ - Mourinho|
|Monk rues missed opportunity|
|Manchester City 0 Middlesbrough 2: Boro stun City with FA Cup shock|
|Chelsea 2 Bradford City 4: League One outfit dump out Premier League leaders|
|Tottenham 1 Leicester City 2: Late turnaround stuns Spurs|
|Cordoba 1 Real Madrid 2: Bale steals late win as Ronaldo sees red|
|Birmingham City 1 West Brom 2: Anichebe seals derby triumph|
|Southampton 2 Crystal Palace 3: Pardew´s men reach fifth round|
|Sunderland 0 Fulham 0: Defoe fails to fire on home debut|
|Bowyer hails ´terrific´ Blackburn|
|Rochdale v Stoke City: Shawcross in race to be fit for cup clash|
|Blackburn Rovers 3 Swansea City 1: Late goals snatch victory for Championship side|
|Congo v Burkina Faso: Le Roy vows to attack|
|Roma still in race for Scudetto - Garcia|
|Mancini coy on Toure links|
|Mertens rules out Napoli exit|
|Barzagli back in Juve squad|
|A-League Review: Adelaide and Sydney rack up the goals|
|Real have signed a ´diamond´ in Silva, says Oliveira|
|Queiroz: How can Williams sleep at night?|
|Asian Cup history ´the focus´ for Australia - Kruse|
|Pogba could be the world´s ´most expensive´ player|
|Australia international joins Dundee United|
|Real Madrid is a ´dream come true´ - Silva|
|Van Gaal angered by first-half showing in cup stalemate|
|Gourcuff laments ´cruel´ Gyan winner|
|UAE will head into semi-final with confidence, says Ali|
|Nice 2 Marseille 1: High-flyers downed on travels|
|St Johnstone 1 Aberdeen 1: Rooney earns title hopefuls a point|
|Cambridge United 0 Manchester United 0: Money´s men bag dream replay|
|Lucas Silva seals Real switch|
|Twente 2 Heracles 0: Strugglers left to rue Zomer error|
|Grant hails injury-time hero Gyan|
|South Africa 1 Senegal 1: Mbodji header denies Bafana Bafana|
|Red Star 2 Consolat Marseille 0: Allegro and Beziouen book Saint-Etienne tie|
|Parma deny Cassano legal action rumours|
|Ivory Coast v Mali: Renard demands more from captain Toure|
|Birthday boy Robben runs the show in five-goal Bayern romp|
|Saint-Etienne v Paris Saint-Germain: Blanc´s men look to reignite season|
|Ghana 1 Algeria 0: Gyan strikes at the last to boost quarter-final hopes|
|Juventus v Chievo: Llorente knows no let-up in title chase|
|Aston Villa v Bournemouth: Championship leaders in search of upset|
|Hughes rubbishes Bojan speculation|
|Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal: Wenger wary of attacking threat|
|Aguirre proud despite Asian Cup elimination|
|Bristol City v West Ham: Allardyce warns Premier League high flyers|
|Cameroon v Guinea: Mbia set for return|
|Inzaghi not fearful of the sack|
|Schalke sign teenager Sivodedov|
|Raiola plans to stand for FIFA presidency|
|Mourinho: Chelsea not planning to buy or sell in January|
|Queiroz praises battling Iran|
|Shenaishil lauds ´leader´ Mahmoud|
|Luis Enrique wary of Elche|
|Leeds confirm Cellino resignation|
|Japan 1 UAE 1 (aet, 4-5 pens): Stars cost champions´ progression|
|Pekerman: Falcao will come good|
|Allardyce awaiting Fletcher decision|
|Rodgers eager to keep Johnson and Lucas|
|Iran 3 Iraq 3 (aet, 6-7 pens): Shakir seals famous victory|
|Agent ´almost certain´ Ronaldo will retire at Real|
|Wenger calls for work permit changes|
|Lazio v Milan: Mauricio hopeful of debut|
|Inter v Torino: D´Ambrosio talks up Mancini impact|
|I was always confident - Benitez|
|Grant takes aim at AFCON organisers|
|Espanyol 3 Sevilla 1: Caicedo´s stunner sets up win|
|Rennes 1 Reims 1 (aet 5-4 on pens): Costil the the hero for last year´s runners-up|
|Napoli 2 Udinese 2 (aet 5-4 on pens): Holders edge through|