Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni has said that last night's defeat of Napoli showed his team are firmly on the right track.
I Nerazzurri leapfrogged Napoli into second spot in Serie A with a hard-fought 2-1 win at the San Siro. Fredy Guarin and Diego Milito got the Inter goals, with Edinson Cavani's second-half strike proving nothing more than a consolation as Inter's tactics of attempting to contain Napoli's attacking threat paid dividends.
Stramaccioni said: "We prepared for this game with the aim of stopping Napoli from doing what they are good at, not letting Cavani unleash his quality and limiting [Marek] Hamsik's space. We succeeded by going about our jobs very carefully."
Stramaccioni has been in the job less than nine months after succeeding the sacked Claudio Ranieri but he is confident Inter are making solid progress. He added: "It was a big win, just as we turned in big performances in the other matches against our direct rivals and showed that we can give anyone a game.
"[Napoli boss Walter] Mazzarri has honed his team year on year, whereas Inter have just started building theirs now. We're in the first year of our project but I'm delighted with how we're doing. We've got a very close-knit group, we prepare for matches carefully, the lads have really applied themselves. I have a lot of respect for these players."
Inter are four points behind defending champions Juventus and president Massimo Moratti hopes that gap can be bridged, but warned their form must improve against some of Serie A's lesser lights.
He told the Inter website: "Our focus is very high in the big matches, both from the players and the coach, who really does his homework. I think he tries to do likewise against the others but perhaps there's just a little less concentration."
Moratti refused to speculate on whether the club would allow Stramaccioni to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window. "We'll talk about that in due course. We'll see what we need and then look at how to move."