Cunnigham flattered McCarthy with praise and believes with small incremental improvements that Ireland can push hard for qualification in the remaining Autumn games. We didn't do that.
He said: "We've got 10 points". They were just playing percentage football so Mick told us at half-time to get on the ball more. "We have had two frightful games against Gibraltar, but we've dispatched them both and - as far as I'm concerned - we beat them in both, so six points from the two games". Denmark at home and a tricky one away to Georgia. "We didn't let them play today, which is pleasing".
The result leaves Ireland five points clear at the top of Group D on ten points.
"It felt like we had lost, the dressing room is all quiet, I asked the players 'what's wrong with you?' We've had something like 40 crosses, 30 shots, we've just not put them in the net and maybe we should congratulate them for being so belligerent and maybe condemn us a bit for being profligate".
Republic of Ireland. Played 4.
Coleman said: "We can only deal with what's in front of us. I will settle for winning the next game, when we have Switzerland", he added, noting a morose mood in the home camp. "I don't think they'll want to play us either, so it'll be interesting in September".
If the expectation was that the Republic would sweep Gibraltar aside after fighting back to snatch a point in Copenhagen three days earlier, that notion was to prove overly optimistic as they dominated possession, but lacked the craft to counteract the visitors' obstinacy.
An own goal from Gibraltar's Joseph Chipolina gave Ireland a first half lead, whilst Burnley's Robbie Brady ensured all three points with a strike in the dying moments of the game. It ended up going down as an own goal but it was some good work from David McGoldrick who has done more than enough to deserve his first goal for the Boys in Green.