Mick McCarthy admitted that he might need to circle the wagons when Ireland and Switzerland meet once again in Geneva next month.

The Ireland manager opted for a variation on the parking of the bus metaphor, which he believes will most likely be needed should Switzerland prove even more effective in their home clash on 15 October.

And McCarthy conceded that he really admired the Switzerland tactical gameplan and its execution throughout the Euro 2020 qualifier at Lansdowne Road.

The visitors opted for a seven-man attacking unit with centre-half Fabian Schar making it eight on more than one occasion as they put Ireland on the back foot from the opening exchanges in this vital qualifier.

Schar finished a fine Swiss move

Newcastle United's Schar was the goalscoring hero for the Swiss as his classy effort put the visitors in the lead with just 15 minutes to play in Dublin.

The manager went straight on the attack, bringing Scott Hogan on to lead a 4-4-2 charge, and it worked, as Ireland secured a valuable point thanks to David McGoldrick’s late equaliser.

"I’m not going to give them credit for [the way they played], but I admired it," said McCarthy at the post match press conference.

"I thought they were excellent, and knowing what they were like having seen them against other teams, I expected it.

"I think we might have to circle the wagons there if they are a lot better in Switzerland than they were tonight, we’re going to have our work cut out for us.

"But we caught them on the break a few times as well today."

McCarthy voiced his concerns ahead of the game in relation to the fitness of all three midfield players, but while they had a tough night against the constant attacking of the Swiss, the manager believes he made the right decision.

"I had three players in the middle of the park with about six games between them all season.

"So why play them," he pondered. "Because they are the most experienced players and they proved that to me tonight despite that."

One player that did have a fitness concern was Callum Robinson who was substituted in the second half on a night where the manager admitted it didn’t happen for the Sheffield United form player.

But the manager stressed that under no circumstances did he gamble with Robinson’s fitness, who sat out training on Thursday with a tight thigh muscle.

"He told me he was alright, he was injury free," confirmed McCarthy.

"It didn’t [happen for him], but it was his hamstring that tightened at the end. I would never gamble on someone’s fitness."

Robinson was pulled ashore in the second-half

McCarthy will, no doubt, look to bring that same level of intensity to the next month’s double header as Ireland travel first to Tbilisi to face Georgia and then on to Geneva for the return with the Swiss.

And the manager will need to make at least one change in the next game as Enda Stevens is ruled out through suspension following his yellow card in the first half against the Swiss.

The manager admitted that he hasn’t thought about it yet and only realised later that Stevens misses out.

But despite mentioning James McClean as back-up in that department, ahead of the Swiss game, McCarthy lauded the Derry native's contribution and confirmed that he would not be slotted into the defence for the next game.

"Greg Cunningham. Stephen Ward... I don’t think I will play James there the way he played tonight, he was awesome.

"Stick a left-back behind him and he can play until he is about 40."

And if there were a few questions about his team selection, the manager could not be critiscised for his tactical changes as he put attack-minded Alan Judge on while the score was still 0-0, before throwing Scott Hogan into the mix once the visitors had scored.

"I put Scott Hogan on and went 4-4-2 and we went gung ho, so if we had been beaten 2-0 [so be it]."