Inter keeper Samir Handanovic insists his side can still win the Serie A title this season.
A 1-1 draw with Genoa in the final match of 2012 left the Nerazzurri nine points behind league leaders Juventus, but Handanovic has maintained it is far too early to write off a title challenge yet.
He told Corriere dello Sport: “The Bianconeri are not from another planet, but they are in front of everyone, thanks to the results obtained and the performances delivered. Compared to last year when they never lost, so far they have been beaten twice, but they have a great advantage.
“Juventus aside, the league so far has been balanced. All pursuers can put pressure on them. The championship is not finished; we are at the end of December, not in May.”
Handanovic believes an early start to the season in European qualification has hindered Inter’s form at times this campaign, but he remains confident in his side’s chances.
“We started before the others to compete in the preliminaries of the Europa League and we did well. Then, after many successes, we lost our way a little, especially at home. That’s why I say that we could do more,” he said.
“I am convinced that Inter must fight for the title, then we’ll see whether we can put Juve in any difficulty.”
Inter restart their Scudetto campaign with a trip to Udinese on January 6, and Handanovic is looking forward to facing his old employers.
He added: “I will be happy to return to a stage that I know well. It will be like coming home.”