The Inter boss is eagerly awaiting his first clash with the Rossoneri and feels recent transfer speculation has brought the best out of Fredy Guarin
The Nerazzurri approach their first derby with the former Napoli boss at the helm nine points clear of their arch-rivals and the 52-year-old knows what is at stake for the people of the city.
"Of course the Milan derby has a special fascination to it and as a coach I try not to think about it until I step on to the field. At that moment I will realise what the Milan derby really is," he said at a press conference.
"I must focus on helping the team play against Milan so the players can be ready to approach this game. I am more concerned with seeing my players adopt my style of football – one that is pleasing to watch, attacking and moving ball to feet.
"Rationally, the derby is worth three points, but we are close to the fans and realise the difference. Certain games can also help with self confidence or affect you psychologically. It means more to the supporters.
"A victory would be a huge confidence boost for the rest of the season, that is certain. If it goes wrong, I’ll have to work to turn over a new leaf and focus on the next games."
Midfielder Fredy Guarin has been linked with a January move to the Premier League and Mazzarri feels the speculation has driven the Colombian on to perform at his best.
"The way I see it, Guarin responded on the field. I had many individual meetings with him, as in my view he hasn’t expressed over 90 minutes his full potential.
"I called him on Tuesday and said he’d played the best game against Napoli, showing that consistency I wanted. Perhaps these rumours stimulated him to give his best."
Sunday's Derby della Madonnina is due to kick off at 20:45CET.