However, Zeman said that his team were unable to adopt the long-ball tactics used by Vladimir Petkovic's side, which ultimately won them the game.
"For the first 20 minutes the team played well," Football Italia quotes Zeman as saying. "But once the pitch became impossible to play on then we had to stop, because we are incapable of playing the long ball game.
"We play close passing and quick movement, so don't really know how to play that type of football."
The Czech coach also revealed that he had spoken to his squad about keeping their cool during the heated derby match; advice that went unheeded by Daniele de Rossi, who saw red after lashing out at Stefano Mauri.
"It was a shame about that gesture," added Zeman. "We talked for two days about how we shouldn't react or give the referee the opportunity to flash cards.
"When you feel the derby too much, you pay for that."
The Giallorossi are in sixth place in Serie A.