Handanovic: It's third or nothing for Inter

The Slovenian goalkeeper has called on the Nerazzurri to beat Serie A leaders Juventus in their quest for the Champions League places

Samir Handanovic insists a top-three finish is everything to Inter this season.

The 2010 European champions currently lie sixth in the league, seven points off AC Milan in the Champions League places, but Handanovic has urged his side to believe in their chances of overhauling their rivals and securing that coveted third place.

"Absolutely not," the 28-year-old told Gazetta dello Sport when asked if his side are out of the running.

"There are three to four teams fighting for that goal, and I really believe it can happen. Sports people like me and my team-mates do not consider pessimism."

Inter face Juventus in the Derby d'Italia this weekend, and Handanovic insists victory could be crucial for their top-three push.

"Let's try to win, and then we'll see," he went on. "We have to win because our motto is third place or nothing.

"In the league self-esteem grows from beating anyone, not just Juventus."

Last time the two sides met the capital club ran out 3-1 winners in Turin with a brace Diego Milito, who is currently sidelinedwith a serious knee injury.

The Slovenia international believes la Vecchia Signora justify their place at the top of Serie A, and concedes that the injury to their Argentine striker has been a massive blow.

"Everyone is where they deserve to be and Juventus are the strongest in the league," he added.

"To say that the absence of Milito is decisive, is heavily obvious."