Mick McCarthy says there is “no doubt” Aaron Connolly is ready to start for the Republic of Ireland.

But he has no regrets about keeping him on the bench in Georgia until the closing stages of a 0-0 draw.

There are calls in Ireland for the Albion striker to make McCarthy’s XI to play Switzerland in Geneva on Tuesday.

The Irish boss is fully aware of that.

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."