Simone Inzaghi was in no doubt as to the importance of Inter's 2-0 Champions League win at Viktoria Plzen, as he looks to navigate a path through a group containing Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Having fallen to a 2-0 loss against Bayern last Wednesday, Inter were faced with the prospect of starting a Champions League campaign with back-to-back defeats for just the second time (after doing so in 2006-07).
But Edin Dzeko's cultured first-half finish put the Nerazzurri in control, and Denzel Dumfries made the points safe after Pavel Bucha was dismissed on the hour mark.
Inter have now won three of their last four Champions League away games, as many as they had in their previous 12 such matches.
Having triumphed 1-0 at Liverpool in the second leg of a last-16 tie in March, meanwhile, the Nerazzurri have won back-to-back away games in the competition for the first time since October 2011.
Inzaghi, who began his news conference by labelling Barcelona and Bayern "the two best teams in the world at the moment", was aware of the importance of taking maximum points in the Czech Republic.
"We know we will face them, today the goal was to bring home the points," he said.
"We made easy a match that was not, no Italian team had won here in Plzen. It's a well-deserved victory, wanted by the boys, I'm happy.
"We are happy, because we knew that the opponent could not be underestimated. We knew the path of all the Italian teams that came here in Plzen.
"The boys were good, they remained focused, and I congratulated them in the locker room."
Inter never looked likely to surrender the points after Dzeko swept into the bottom-right corner. The former Manchester City and Roma striker has now recorded 20 goal involvements in his last 21 Champions League appearances (14 goals, six assists).
While praising the forward's contribution, Inzaghi highlighted the importance of competition in the Inter attack as he revealed Romelu Lukaku should return from injury after this month's international break.
"Edin was good, like all his team-mates. I need everyone in defence, in midfield and in attack," he added.
"After the break Lukaku will return, and from match to match I will choose the attacking couple who will enter the field."
Plzen coach Michal Bilek, meanwhile, rued the ruthlessness of the Bosnia and Herzegovina international, declaring: "I said yesterday that a shot on goal was enough for him to score.
"He is a very good player and even today he managed to score like this. For the rest of the match I think that our players managed to control him well."