Esteban Cambiasso has admitted that Inter's inability to play with any degree of consistency has completely undermined their hopes of challenging Juventus for this season's Serie A title.
The Nerazzurri looked like legitimate Scudetto contenders after ending the Bianconeri's 49-game unbeaten run in the league back in October, but their hopes were dashed by a subsequent spate of injuries and a serious crisis of confidence.
Consequently, Andrea Stramaccioni's side go into this weekend's Derby d'Italia fifth in the standings, some 20 points behind runaway leaders Juve.
"This season we have managed to turn in some great performances, but also some very disappointing performances," Cambiasso lamented in an interview with Sky Sport Italia.
"This, ultimately, is what makes the difference for a team, particularly in a competition like the league, where what matters so much in terms of reaching high levels of performance is consistency, which we have never had.
"Juve, though, have."
Speaking on the eve of the San Siro showdown, Cambiasso was also keen to play down the bitter nature of the rivalry that exists between the two clubs.
"If we're already starting before the game to talk about enemies and not of sporting opponents, I think, at least on our part, we are getting it all wrong," he told Sky Sport Italia.
"It's better to think that we are only sporting rivals because the story of Italian football demonstrates that this is what we really are."
Inter's eagerly-awaited clash with Juve at the Giuseppe Meazza is scheduled to get under way at 15:00CET.