Inter Milan head coach Andrea Stramaccioni is urging his players to make second place their own heading into the winter break.
The Nerazzurri could find themselves 10 points adrift of league leaders Juventus going into tomorrow's game against Genoa, should Juve beat Cagliari tonight.
More worryingly, Lazio closed the gap on second place to a single point last time out by beating Stramaccioni's men 1-0.
But today the 36-year-old recalled how city rivals AC Milan led the standings for much of the 2011-12 campaign, only to be deposed by Antonio Conte's Bianconeri come the end of the season.
He told reporters: "Last year Juve were behind Milan but when they didn't win they made up the ground.
"First of all we are looking for consistent results, because if you don't sow any seeds you can't harvest any rewards.
"I have to give tomorrow's game a lot of respect - it's fundamental for us. Although Genoa are not having a good time, they can embarrass anyone in a single game.
"It's important that we do well and make sure of second place in the standings.
"It's a win-win situation if you look at where we were in the beginning, but let's talk about it after the game. Despite Sunday's misstep, we are still second."
Meanwhile, Wesley Sneijder's wife, Yolanthe Cabau, told reporters in Holland this week that her husband is ready to bid farewell to Milan and move to somewhere that will be "a great place for the family".
The playmaker has not featured since a 2-0 victory at Chievo on September 26, due to an uneasy stand-off over a contract wrangle, and has been sent on his Christmas break early.
She said: "We are about to leave Milan. It could all be finalised in the first days of January."
Midfielder Philippe Coutinho was also sent home early, but to allow him extra time to prepare for his wedding.
Genoa are desperate for a positive result going into the two-week break and currently sit in 19th place, two points from safety having failed to win in three attempts.
Head coach Luigi Del Neri said: "There are seven, eight or even nine teams in danger alongside us.
"The championship will be long but we can still improve."
Any positive result at the San Siro, where the Grifone lost 5-4 last season, will come without suspended duo Felipe Seymour and Emiliano Moretti, with Damiano Ferronetti, Cesare Bovo and Bosko Jankovic all facing late fitness tests.