Sinisa Mihajlovic believes AC Milan's derby against Inter is the last chance to fight towards the top spots in Serie A and says a win could act as an "elevator" to climb the table.
Milan have endured an inconsistent campaign in Italy's top flight and are sixth after 21 matches, eight points adrift of the Champions League spots.
On Sunday, they face off against bitter rivals Inter at San Siro with Roberto Mancini's men out of form having won just once in five league outings - a run that has seen them slip to fourth.
With plenty riding on the outcome, Mihajlovic is confident Milan have the talent in their ranks to avenge September's 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture and mount a challenge for the upper echelons of the table.
"A win in the derby would be a boost for the table and morale," he said. "It's the last chance in the chase for the top positions.
"Inter also need to win to stay near the top of the table. Their position in the table, as it stands, is better than ours.
"The derby is like an elevator. It can take you to the top or you head straight towards the basement. We have the quality needed to win.
"A win can give us enthusiasm and confidence. We struggle to finish off games when we are in control."
Mihajlovic, who confirmed Mario Balotelli and Kevin-Prince Boateng are not fit enough to play 90 minutes, also responded to claims from Milan's joint chief executive officer Barbara Berlusconi that the objective this season has now switched to qualifying for the Europa League.
"Looking at the table she is right, but if at the end of the day things go even better then she'll be happier," he said.