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The full-back says that the Rossoneri squad have learned from last season's woes and believes that Nigel de Jong's return will be a hugely boost

AC Milan defender Kevin Constant has challenged his team-mates to improve upon their achievements in 2012-13 in the upcoming campaign.

The Rossoneri finished with a flurry to clinch the third-place spot in Serie A, despite having languished in mid-table for the opening few months of the season, and reached the last 16 in the Champions League.

Constant, who joined San Siro last year, believes that Massimiliano Allegri's squad are now capable of building on their strong showing in the first half of 2013 and wants them to prove their mettle in August's Champions League clashes.

He told reporters on Saturday: "After the first few days of pre-season training, now we are working really well to be able to get ready for the Champions League play-offs.

"Our goal is to do better than last season, especially as we try to better. Last year, for many of us it was not easy getting used to being at such a great team, especially because so many important players had just left. This year we already know what lies ahead."

Constant does not fear losing his place in the Milan first team following a successful debut 12 months with the club, while stressing that the return of midfield enforcer Nigel de Jong, who injured his Achilles in December 2012, will be a huge boost to the squad.

"Competition does not scare me, rather it is a stimulus," the full-back, 26, added. "I also believe that one of the most important 'signings' of the summer will be the recovery of De Jong."

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