Despite Ireland's 2-0 defeat away to Switzerland in Geneva, Mick McCarthy's charges have one more date with destiny in order to determine their plans for the summer of 2020. We won't mention the potential play-offs that may come, but for now, if Ireland beat Denmark on November 18, they go through.
A simple task, sure, but Ireland have gotten into this position by virtue of their unbeaten start to the campaign, one which was halted by the Swiss. Three wins and three draws in competitive matches under Mick McCarthy's second reign have given Ireland the opportunity to qualify, the objective McCarthy was given when he took over the helm.
However, these results have been hollow in the eyes of RTE pundit Richie Sadlier. Speaking minutes after Ireland's loss against Switzerland, the ex-Millwall man talked about how Ireland achieved those results in spite of their performances.
Sadlier mentioned that Ireland have only played in intervals during the qualification campaign, rather than for full 90 minutes.
We've never given a performance over 90 minutes. There have been 15/20 minute spells that have been pleasing. There were times in the Georgia match that were good. We rallied in the final 15/20 minutes against Denmark and Switzerland when we needed to because we conceded. The two Gibraltar games were awful, Georgia away was awful.
Sadlier added that there was a lack of consistency throughout the campaign, which made it hard to believe in the team. Sadlier's sentiments were echoed by Liam Brady. Brady said that all that was showcased in the previous seven matches were Ireland's hallmarks of "desire and commitment".
Brady added that Ireland's position in the group is "false," due to Ireland's victories only coming against Gibraltar and Georgia.
Sometimes it feels like Mick is loyal to lads that have only beaten Gibraltar and Georgia... We're struggling for quality really".
Sure, the last time Ireland played Denmark in a direct shootout for major tournament qualification, everything went swimmingly...