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Coppa Italia exit can put Inter on right path - Mancini

Roberto Mancini wants Inter to use their 3-0 victory over Juventus in the Coppa Italia semi-final in midweek as a springboard for a Champions League push in Serie A.

Inter overturned a three-goal deficit against the defending champions but were eliminated from the competition after losing 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out.

The Milan side return to Serie A action against Palermo on Sunday, with the gap to third-place Roma standing at eight points following their 4-1 win over Fiorentina on Friday.

But Mancini is hopeful his side take the positives from their cup exit and start to close in on the top three.

"If we win tomorrow we go back to five points behind [Roma], and we play against them in two weeks," he said. "They are doing very well, but it is up to us.

"Beyond the disappointment of not reaching the final, I hope the success will help the team understand we can do something good. We must move forward, hold our heads high and give our best.

"One game does not erase a month and a half of negative results, but it can help to change our path. We are not last time the standings, several matches remain."

Mauro Icardi was an unused substitute for the Coppa Italia clash, but Mancini insisted the captain still has a big part to play.

"It's not easy to be a captain of any team. We gave the armband to Mauro because he is a player Inter are counting on for the future," he added.

"He needs to grow, but having this role at his age means he's got character and the respect of his team-mates."