Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy said his side are “better off now” in their Euro 2020 qualification bid after a dramatic 1-1 draw with Switzerland.
“We’re not the best team in the group but I’ll tell you what, you’re going to have to put us down before we give up,” McCarthy said.
“Switzerland are a very good side.”
The Republic are in a three-way battle with the SWISs and Denmark for two Euro 2020 spots. All three games between the teams have ended in draws – with the Irish also drawing 1-1 in Copenhagen thanks to a late Shane Duffy equaliser. The three sides have all won their games against Georgia and Gibraltar.
The Irish – who will host three Euro 2020 group games – are three points clear of Denmark and six above Switzerland – but those sides have one and two games in hand respectively.
The SWISs – who are ranked 11th in the world – looked set for a deserved victory after Fabian Schar blasted home in the 74th minute.
“For periods of that game, they were better than us,” said McCarthy, who is unbeaten in his second spell in charge. “My players just keep going, they give me everything. They’re absolutely brilliant.
“We showed durability and the stoic nature Irish teams have shown during my time as a player and manager. We deserved it in the end.
“We started the second half really well. We had to keep tinkering with the system to stem the tide. When we got the goal, we went 4-4-2 and gung ho. James McClean was amazing and I’m thrilled for David McGoldrick.
“I had three midfielders in there who have played six games between them this season. Switzerland’s midfield were very good but we stuck at it.”
McCarthy has said he will make changes for Tuesday’s game against Bulgaria, his first friendly in charge.