Cagliari midfielder Radja Nainggolan insists that his side must start finding form to avoid plummeting into Serie B, and is targeting parent club Inter next weekend.
The Belgian midfielder returned to Sardinia on loan in January after failing to establish himself under Inter coach Antonio Conte, but has struggled as Cagliari languish in the relegation zone following a 2-0 defeat to Hellas Verona yesterday.
In an interview with Sky Sport Italia after the match, Nainggolan declared that his side needed to begin picking up points to avoid the drop, whilst also criticising the mentality of the Cagliari squad in their efforts.
“In my opinion, we lack personality and now it is difficult, because there are fewer matches whilst the points we have stay the same,” the former Roma midfielder claimed.
“We want to save ourselves, the group is united, but it’s not that easy. They (Verona) punished us with minimum effort and every time we are starting from scratch, which is not easy.
“There are nine games to go now, first there is Inter and then eight more. We need to earn points and even victories because the points we have are not enough.”
Nainggolan has come under fire for his performances for Cagliari since returning to his former club, but hit out and claimed that he could not carry the responsibility for the entire team.
“I am available to the coach, today I played in front of the defence. People criticise me because they say I have to shoot, I have to score, I have to take long-range efforts, I have to be the leader of the team.
“But there are 11 of us. If I played tennis and lost then they could easily take it out on me. I am calm, I try to work hard and contribute to the team. When you play as 11, you win and you lose as 11,” Nainggolan concluded.
The 32-year-old joined Inter from Roma in 2018 and has gone on to score seven goals in 41 appearances for the Nerazzurri, before spending last season on loan at Cagliari and returning to Sardinia in January.