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  • Roma drew 0-0 at home to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday
  • Radja Nainggolan believes there is more to come from the Italian side
  • The Serie A outfit are in Group C alongside Chelsea and Qarabag

Press Association Reporter

Radja Nainggolan has reminded Roma’s critics the players are not robots as they attempt to find their feet under new coach Eusebio di Francesco.

Last season’s Serie A runners-up launched their Champions League campaign with a hard-fought 0-0 Group C draw against Atletico Madrid.

They needed the help of a post in stoppage time as Saul Niguez threatened to snatch victory for the 2016-17 semi-finalists at the Stadio Olimpico, but midfielder Nainggolan is convinced there is more to come.

Radja Nainggolan holds off the attentions of Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey

Radja Nainggolan holds off the attentions of Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey

Radja Nainggolan holds off the attentions of Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey

He told Roma’s official website: ‘We are at the start of the season, there are new tactics and a different style of working to what we were used to. 

‘It’s normal that it will take a bit of time to be 100 per cent for 90 minutes.

‘But only through work will we get better at this. We have changed a lot – to a new style of play with a new coach. It will take time to do everything perfectly.

‘We are not robots, we are working on it and we hope to keep getting better in a number of ways.’

The Belgian played as Roma began their Champions League campaign with a draw

The Belgian played as Roma began their Champions League campaign with a draw

The Belgian played as Roma began their Champions League campaign with a draw

Nainggolan came close to giving Roma a first-half lead with a rasping shot which was saved at the second attempt by keeper Jan Oblak, but it took a goal-line clearance by defender Kostas Manolas to deny Saul at the other end seconds later.

The Atletico midfielder very nearly won it at the death when his header was kept out by keeper Alisson before his follow-up cannoned back off the woodwork, but Nainggolan was happy enough with a point.

He said: ‘It’s an important point for the confidence. We managed to create some good chances in the first half – their goalkeeper made a good save from my shot. Then Alisson after that made quite a few.

Nainggolan believes Roma will improve after the 0-0 stalemate with Atletico Madrid

Nainggolan believes Roma will improve after the 0-0 stalemate with Atletico Madrid

Nainggolan believes Roma will improve after the 0-0 stalemate with Atletico Madrid

‘We feel a draw is a good result against what is a top side.’

Atletico coach Diego Simeone was also happy enough with a draw.

He told the club’s official website, www.atleticomadrid.com: ‘We played a great game. I am happy with the game, and the intensity because we went from low to high.

‘We knew that in the second half with the changes, the team would grow and we did it. I’m leaving with an important team feeling.

‘In the first half, we had four or five clear chances. In the second, we also had many, but their goalkeeper had a great performance.’

The midfielder insists the Serie A side are finding their feet under Eusebio di Francesco

The midfielder insists the Serie A side are finding their feet under Eusebio di Francesco

The midfielder insists the Serie A side are finding their feet under Eusebio di Francesco

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