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The defender believes the 2010 Champions League winners improved sufficiently over the summer to enjoy a successful year, and is happy to be playing regular football again

Andrea Ranocchia is confident Inter will challenge for top honours this season, as he prepares for Sunday's visit of Siena.

The Nerazzurri have been rather inconsistent in the opening weeks of the 2012-13 campaign, but the 24-year-old has little doubt that they will eventually come good.

"I really expect a great season," Ranocchia told Inter Channel.

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"We are a new team in every area of the pitch, and we definitely need a bit of time to get used to playing with one another, but I'm sure we're going to be more consistent moving forward."

The centre-back endured a difficult 2011-12 campaign, which ended with failure to make Cesare Prandelli's Italy squad for Euro 2012, but is pleased to be back in contention for both club and country this term.

"It almost seemed like in one bad season I'd managed to undo all the good work I'd put in over previous years, but I've started this season well and I'm enjoying my football," he added.

"It's obviously disappointing when you don't make the squad because being picked for the Azzurri and staying in the squad over time is an achievement, it means you're one of the best players in Italy.

"But what hurt most was not playing here at Inter. My priority is Inter, if I keep performing well then the national side will come calling, if I deserve it."

The former Bari and Genoa stopper has made seven official appearances for the Giuseppe Meazza side this term.

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