Inter striker Eder says recent poor form has not ruled them out of the Serie A title race, suggesting a win against Fiorentina on Sunday could revive their Scudetto ambitions.
Having started the campaign strongly, Inter were a point clear at the summit going into 2016 but have won just one of their last six league games and needed late goals from Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic to earn a point against rock-bottom Verona on Sunday.
Inter’s stuttering form has seen them slip behind Napoli, Juventus and Fiorentina ahead of a weekend that sees the top two meet on Saturday before Mancini’s side take on the Viola a day later.
And Eder believes the weekend could be pivotal in the title race, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport: “Perhaps Juventus versus Napoli will end without a goal, we win in Florence and we are back in the race.
“I believe in one thing: everything is in our hands and will depend on how we play against our direct rivals.
“Tough times can happen over the course of a season. It happened to Napoli and Juve first, and then Roma. Now it is us, but we are still in the battle.
“[The game against Fiorentina] isn’t decisive but it could help push us forward. The important thing is that we maintain our balance. Win or lose, it isn’t three or four points that will make the difference at this point of the season.
“There are a lot of points still available, and we can overturn the results.”
The 29-year-old moved to Inter during the January transfer window from Sampdoria but has yet to find the net in three appearances for his new club.
Strike partner Icardi has scored in both games since missing a penalty in the derby defeat to AC Milan and Eder is happy to play provider for his former Sampdoria team-mate.
“I don’t really focus on scoring goals. Rather than scoring a needless goal, I would rather play well and win,” he added. “Just look at Jose Callejon of Napoli. He wasn’t scoring but he worked hard and continued to help the team, while Gonzalo Higuain scored goals.
“If I play like Callejon then Mauro Icardi will score 30 goals, which is fine by me.”