Inter host Atalanta on Sunday in a game that forward Rodrigo Palacio has dubbed a must-win clash in their quest for European football.
Walter Mazzarri's men head into the game unbeaten in six Serie A matches and still retain slim hope of gaining qualification for the UEFA Champions League.
Inter are 11 points behind Napoli, who currently occupy the final Champions League qualification berth and welcome fourth-placed Fiorentina to Stadio San Paolo this weekend.
A place in next season's UEFA Europa League, courtesy of finishing fourth or fifth, appears a much more realistic aim for Inter.
And with sixth-placed Parma only one point behind the 18-time Italian champions, Palacio knows it is vital his side claim three points against an Atalanta outfit seeking a fourth consecutive win.
"You can see the team has improved. Our understanding is growing just as the team is improving," Palacio told Inter's official website.
"It's becoming stronger and we have to keep this up. You only need to look at the results on the pitch and the recent performances.
"We can't fail on Sunday. We're playing at home and we have to win. We know Atalanta are a team that's tough to face. We'll need to be careful.
"We know we lost points in games we should have got something from, but we have to keep going the way we are now."
Inter will again be without suspended defender Juan Jesus, while Yohan Benalouane is banned for Atalanta.
The visitors have moved well clear of any potential relegation danger as a result of their recent upturn in form and will have designs on securing a top-half finish.
Stefano Colantuono's men currently sit ninth and can also take heart from their recent performances against Inter, who have not beaten Atalanta since 2010.
Atalanta completed a double over Inter last season with enthralling 3-2 and 4-3 wins, and held Mazzarri's men to a 1-1 draw in this season's reverse fixture in October.
Striker German Denis is likely to be key if Atalanta are to claim another success against Inter, having found the net 10 times this season and on six occasions in the last three games between the two sides.
Midfielder Maxi Moralez is confident Atalanta can emerge triumphant again and extend their unbeaten run against Inter, which currently stands at five matches.
Moralez told his club's official website: "We expect a tough match against Inter, an opponent with many champions and who are in shape.
"But we are also having a great moment and we want to keep going to the end of the season, in the best way possible."
|Roma coach Spalletti warns suitors off Manolas|
|Cresswell out for up to four months with knee injury|
|Burnley fan banned by club for racist abuse|
|Dad won´t let me play at the Olympics - Larsson Sr pulls rank|
|Kostic joins Hamburg on five-year deal|
|Tevez: I´d turn down Chelsea and Napoli to stay at Boca|
|Mayoral inspired by Benzema for Wolfsburg stint|
|Allardyce straight into competitive action with England|
|Liverpool, Sevilla fined for Europa League final incidents|
|Barcelona seal Guillemenot signing as part of new Servette deal|
|Niersbach handed one-year ban over World Cup corruption|
|Chelsea and Everton ´still interested´ as Koulibaly eyes Napoli exit|
|´Still working hard´ - Balotelli trains with Liverpool kids|
|Winter breaks, long-ball football and the World Cup: Allardyce in his own words|
|Inter warn Napoli Icardi is not for sale|
|Zanetti wants Simeone back at Inter|
|Stoke snap up Sobhi|
|PSG tougher under Emery - Lucas Moura|
|Totti not ready for retirement - Pallotta|
|Confident Allardyce reveals plan for England success|
|Pochettino to discard three Tottenham players|
|Allardyce: Rooney must wait for captaincy decision|
|Aubameyang: I will only leave Dortmund for Real Madrid|
|Allegri silences questions on Pogba|
|Bruce stands by decision to quit Hull City|
|Pochettino: Not the right time for Argentina job|
|Inter yet to approach De Boer with Mancini exit rumoured|
|Ancelotti trusts me more than Guardiola - Ribery|
|Wijnaldum rejected Everton for Klopp|
|Pre-season Manchester derby cancelled|
|Coutinho excited by ´fast´ Liverpool recruits|
|Cristiano Ronaldo and Conor McGregor step into the ring together|
|Mancini coy on reports linking Icardi to Napoli|
|Nolito reveals why he chose Man City over Barcelona|
|Inter 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Icardi absence in defeat fuels Napoli talk|
|MLS Review: Wright-Phillips double inspires Red Bulls to New York derby rout|
|James seeks more game time at Madrid|
|Rooney: I want to be a manager|
|Mignolet welcomes Karius challenge in Liverpool number one battle|
|Batshuayi buoyed by winning vibes at Chelsea|
|Moyes and Sunderland players diverted after plane fault|
|´Loved´ Varane targets long Madrid stay|
|Kostic set for Hamburg medical|
|Leicester crying over Kante sale - Ranieri|
|Schurrle the perfect Mkhitaryan replacement - Tuchel|
|West Ham face anxious wait on Cresswell injury|
|Mourinho will accept criticism from United legends|
|Bertolacci desperate for fresh start after underwhelming first season at Milan|
|Hoops hand Toure one-year deal|
|Origi ready to fight for Liverpool spot|
|Emery wants PSG stay for ´fantastic´ Matuidi|
|No Barcelona offer for Vietto - Cerezo|
|Burnley apologise for racist abuse from supporter|
|Guardiola will not rush Kompany comeback|
|Of course I´ll shake Guardiola´s hand, snaps riled Mourinho|
|Watzke: No more signings for Dortmund|
|Roma expect Manolas to snub Premier League move|
|Adriano set to leave Barcelona for Besiktas|
|Manchester United in worst possible situation - Mourinho|
|Sporting would have to sell stadium to afford Van Persie - Jesus|
|Jonas´ agent confirms Barcelona approach|
|No problem with Mourinho, insists Guardiola ahead of derby in China|
|Toronto´s hat-trick hero Giovinco: I´m back|
|Drogba revels in ´special night´, dedicates hat-trick to family|
|MLS Review: Hat-tricks for Drogba and Giovinco as stars shine|
|Whelan backs Liverpool for top-four finish|
|Pellegrini still waiting for right offer|
|Ronaldo deserves to win Ballon d´Or - Vazquez|
|Phelan wants Hull job|
|Alaba saddened by Gotze exit|
|Morgan: Vardy right to re-sign|
|Maradona ´hurting´ as Higuain closes on Juventus move|
|Moyes watches Sunderland win, Ibe opens account in six-goal Bournemouth thriller|
|Messi cuts short holiday for Barcelona training camp|
|Ranieri still confident of keeping Mahrez|
|Toure to complete Celtic move on Sunday, says Rodgers|
|Vietto sends Simeone a reminder amid Barcelona links|
|Celtic 1 Leicester City 1 (5-6 on penalties): Mahrez magic the highlight as Ranieri´s side triumph i|
|Ribery, Alaba on target in Bayern win|
|Neymar hails Micale ahead of Olympic tilt|
|Ronaldo wants Real Madrid renewal|
|Ochoa joins Granada from Malaga|
|Heidel quashes Meyer to Liverpool as ´nonsense´|
|Scholes challenges Allardyce to change England mentality|
|Tenerife star Crosas investigated for killing endangered shark|
|De Gea: Manchester United can win title under Mourinho|
|Marseille replace Batshuayi with brother Leya Iseka|
|Cristiano Ronaldo: Best season of my career|
|Scholes: Pogba is not worth £100million|
|Gotze has not forgotten how to play football - Riedle|
|Delph learning more than ever under Guardiola|
|Jovetic ´not worried´ about Juventus|
|Allardyce wants Euro 2016 woes to fire his England|
|Giggs not in a rush to take manager´s job|
|Lopetegui: If not for Spain I would be Wolves boss|
|Shaw one of best left-backs in world - Herrera|
|Injured Sanchez to miss Arsenal tour|
|Melbourne Victory 1 Juventus 1 (Melbourne win 4-3 on pens): Thomas inspires Victory as Juve pay pena|
|Janssen: Ajax and PSV were never going to pay as much as Tottenham|
|Bayern to make Munich shooting tributes|
|Wenger wishes luck to old foe Allardyce|
|United defender Varela joins Frankfurt on loan|
|Sunderland appoint Moyes as Allardyce replacement|
|Javi Martinez devastated by Munich shootings|
|Rooney: I´m desperate to play for Mourinho, just like under Ferguson|
|Godin: Champions League the dream, but LaLiga the focus|
|Klopp hails Wijnaldum´s ´football smartness´|
|Klavan ready to fight for starting spot after completing ´dream´ Liverpool move|
|Real Salt Lake 1 San Jose Earthquakes 1: Mulholland salvages point|
|Madeira airport to be named after Cristiano Ronaldo|
|Villar, Ceferin and Van Praag announce UEFA presidential bid|
|Witsel has offers from England and Italy|
|Tuchel will bring out Gotze´s best - Watzke|
|Swansea confirm interest in Liverpool´s Allen|
|Arsenal´s Coquelin: LeBron v Curry is like Messi v Ronaldo|
|Rooney backs Allardyce appointment|
|Bayern and Ancelotti respond to Munich attacks|
|West Brom friendly cancelled over violence concerns|