A defiant Mick McCarthy has insisted he would have taken heading into the final two games of the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with their fate still in their own hands - and aired his bemusement at negativity in the wake of Saturday's stalemate in Georgia.

The goalless draw in Tbilisi, coupled win Denmark's 1-0 home win over Switzerland means that McCarthy's men - who face the Swiss in Geneva on Tuesday evening - and the Danes are locked together at the top of Group D on 12 points after six fixtures.

Ireland were second best for much of the game in Tbilisi and had to defend for dear life at times, prompting a less-than-favourable reaction from some back at home, but with victory over either the Swiss this week or Denmark in Dublin next month guaranteeing qualification, McCarthy remains bullish.

He told FAI TV: "I don't get it, I really don't get it. I think everybody would have taken the position we're in now, going to Switzerland and if we win we qualify, if we beat Denmark we qualify.

"Of course, the peddlers of doom and gloom will say 'well we've no chance of winning'. I don't get that. Who knows, who knows what will happen?

"We've been all right. We've done better against the better sides, we've given better performances. I'm looking forward to it - the pressure is on them on Tuesday night."

Switzerland trail both Ireland and Denmark by four points, but have played a game fewer and would expect to wrap up their fixtures next month with a maximum return from a home clash with Georgia and a trip to Gibraltar.

Asked for his reaction to the game in Copenhagen, McCarthy said: "It's left us that if we win one of the games, we qualify. That's what I'm led to believe. It's head-to-head against them, so if we win on Tuesday, we've qualified.

"If you'd have said that to me on 1 December when the draw was (made), I'd have taken it, of course I would."

McCarthy confirmed that Sheffield United striker David McGoldrick would not be joining up with the squad after failing to shake off a groin injury, and his absence will do little to quell the excitement surrounding Aaron Connolly.

The 19-year-old Brighton frontman came off the bench at the Boris Paichadze Arena and very nearly snatched victory with two late chances.

McCarthy said: "He's come into the squad, he had his cameo at the end, and then of course the question is, could I have played him more?

"Well, I could have started him and he might not have played very well from the start in a rough and tumble game. He might have scored from the start, all those scenarios.

"But had he started and not played well then that would have been, 'Well, he shouldn't have had a debut', usual stuff, which I know is coming. It doesn't matter what happens, you'll get picked holes on whatever happens.

"I think he did great when he came on. He had his chances in a game that was starting to get stretched, starting to become wide-open.

"So he's had a really good cameo appearance and I've no doubt he's ready to start."

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