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Embattled Roma's "desire and determination" will be key when they host BATE Borisov in a Champions League clash on Wednesday in a tight Group E, according Radja Nainggolan.
Double 'D' will be key for Roma - Nainggolan
12/08/2015
 
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Embattled Roma's "desire and determination" will be key when they host BATE Borisov in a Champions League clash on Wednesday in a tight Group E, according Radja Nainggolan.


Roma host the Belarusian champions looking to book their ticket for the knockout phase for the first time since being outclassed 6-2 on aggregate by Shakhtar Donetsk in 2011.


Yet, a fortnight after a 6-1 drubbing by champions Barcelona left them second in Group E on the same number of points as third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, with BATE only a point further behind, Roma remain stuck in crisis mode.


Roma's Nou Camp calamity was followed by a 2-0 home defeat to Atalanta and Rudi Garcia's men dropped more points in a 1-1 draw away to Torino on Saturday.


Although still in title contention at five points behind Inter Milan, the pressure is building on Roma's French coach Garcia to come good having seen his side slip several times in this group campaign.


But Belgian international Nainggolan, one of Roma's key midfield components, has given Garcia his backing.


"We have plenty of belief, we're a strong group and we're just waiting to get back to winning ways," Nainggolan said after Saturday's draw in Turin.


"(On Saturday) we showed lots of desire and that's the first thing you need to get results. Good football comes after that.


"We have a Champions League match to prepare for on Wednesday, which will be tough, just as today's game was.


"We have to approach it with the same desire and determination. We know we have to win to go through, so we'll knuckle down and try to secure the points against BATE."


A win would be the first of any kind for Roma since they beat Lazio 2-0 in the city derby at the beginning of last month, but the fact Group E is wide open won't make the task any easier -- all three clubs sitting behind 

Barcelona can still snatch the second remaining spot.


While Roma would also qualify if they draw and Leverkusen fail to beat Barcelona, a Leverkusen win coupled with a Roma draw or defeat would see the Bundesliga side advance.


If BATE beat Roma for the second time in this campaign and Leverkusen do not win in Germany, the Belarusians will advance to the knockout stage for the first time.


Having shipped 18 goals in 15 league games and a table-topping 16 in Group E, Roma's chances would perk up with an overall improvement in their defensive game.


But in the high-octane atmosphere of a Champions League decider, who scores first could be key. The spotlight is firmly on Roma striker Edin Dzeko, although the Bosnian is likely to be without at least one of his two wingmen.


Ivory Coast winger Gervinho returned from a thigh muscle problem on Saturday only to limp off 26 minutes into the game and, having trained apart from the squad on Monday, looks to be unavailable.


In the absence of Gervinho and Mohamed Salah, Roma remain winless but hopes are growing the Egyptian could yet win his a late fitness battle.


Salah on Monday completed his first training session since suffering ligament damage in the 2-0 derby win over Lazio but at this stage the pacy winger remains doubtful.


Roma's failure to reach the last 16 for the second consecutive year would cost them millions, a threat the club's American president James Pallotta seemed to underline with a curt response on Saturday: "I'm not satisfied."

Source: Justin DAVIS/ AFP
 
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