Antonio Candreva urged Inter's title rivals to take Saturday's 3-1 victory over Cagliari as a statement of intent from Luciano Spalletti's side.
Inter moved top of Serie A after Mauro Icardi's double took him to 15 top-flight goals for the season, while Marcelo Brozovic was also on target in Sardinia.
The San Siro club remain unbeaten this season and, although they could be replaced at the top when Napoli head to Udinese on Sunday, Candreva felt the club had sent out "an important signal".
"It was a match full of pitfalls, we knew it would be," said Candreva.
"It was a very strong performance from all aspects. We gave out an important signal.
"After the start, we changed it around a bit and got the goal with Mauro.
"The important thing was to get the three points."
Inter have matches against champions Juventus and high-flying Lazio before the mid-season break, but Candreva is focused on the next task at hand, which is next weekend's visit of Chievo.
"Now, we have a lot of direct head-to-heads up until the winter break, but next Sunday it's Chievo," he added.
"We need to be focusing on them."