Milan ace Clarence Seedorf still considers Inter as a threat despite the Rossoneri's 1-0 victory in the derby last weekend.
Milan surged to the top of the table after a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty saw them move above Lazio, but, significantly, six points clear of the reigning champions.
However, when asked whether the derby game signified the end of an era for Inter and the start of one for Milan, Seedorf refused to write off the Nerazzurri.
"We're only in November," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview. "Inter are looking for an identity with their new Coach.
"It is easy to criticise a Coach who joins a team that has won everything, but remember that Rafa Benitez is a man who won Liverpool the Champions League.
"He isn't lacking in ability, he just needs to find balance for his side."
Milan are now widely seen as favourites for the Scudetto after some impressive and consistent results domestically.
"We at Milan are happy with the wins, but we need time to become a real team," continued the Dutchman.
"Victories do matter, but if we don't beat Fiorentina [on Saturday] then winning in the derby wouldn't matter."
Seedorf is applauded for his midfield versatility, but he has shone in recent times after being used as a No 10 – his favourite position.
"It's satisfying to be used in my natural role and I'm enjoying the moment. Since 2007 I have had to adapt to many positions, but most of the time I've played in the zones which I like."
The former Real Madrid player was also asked about his future. "I'm happy at Milan and I'd like to continue here. It would take something extraordinary for me to change clubs."