JEFF Hendrick has hailed the character and resilience of his team-mates after Ireland rallied to secure a vital draw against Denmark in their Euro 2020 qualifier.

Ireland were forced to fight back from 1-0 deficit in the second half thanks to a brilliant header from former Blackburn Rovers defender Shane Duffy to rescue a point for the visitors in the 84th minute.

The result ensures that Ireland will stay at the top of Group D as they prepare to face Gibraltar this evening - and Burnley midfielder Hendrick was delighted to see fight shown from his teammates.

“They’re a very good side,” said a relieved Hendrick after the final whistle in Copenhagen.

“We came here and the first half we tried to press them and play a bit more in their half.

“As the ball went on, we had to battle, dig deep and come from a goal behind. It shows great character from the lads and the boys coming off the bench, making an impact. Duffo (Shane Duffy) with another headed-goal, look at the size of him.

“For us, we’re top of the group now, we’ve another point on the board so we carry it on to Monday now.”

Denmark enjoyed most of the possession throughout the game, and it looked as though Ireland were heading for their first defeat of the campaign when substitute Pierre-Emile Hoejbjerg’s scored after 76 minutes.

Duffy’s goal revived them coming into the closing stages, and Hendrick - who lined-up alongside Clarets teammate Robbie Brady - believes that the depth of Ireland’s character came to the fore in those intervening minutes.

“I thought we matched them in the first-half, a couple of half-chances,” said the midfielder who played the full 90 minutes.

“We could have been a little bit better in the final third but as the game grew on, we had to show our resilience, our character that togetherness and keep on battling.

“We got back into the game and got a valuable point.”

Mick McCarthy, who will be without injured Burnley defender Kevin Long, has now challenged his team to back up that hard-earned point in Denmark with victory over Gibraltar tonight.

“I told you I would have taken a draw, but we didn’t go and settle for a draw, we weren’t looking for that,” he said.

“In fact in 94 minutes, we were the one that looked more likely to score in the game on Friday night, despite they had missed chances, I get that.

“We went looking for a win and we have to back that up with a win tonight. We’re at home.”

Shane Duffy’s late goal clinched the point at the Telia Parken Stadium, and skipper Seamus Coleman praised the Brighton defender’s growing contribution to the national team.

Coleman said: “He has been getting better. He is willing to learn all the time. Even now, if he makes a mistake, he is willing to work on it.

“Never for one minute does he think he has made it, so that’s what I like about him. He keeps working hard and he always has that. But his confidence on the pitch is there for everyone to see.”

McCarthy will be without injured duo Kevin Long and Alan Judge, but has insisted he will not make changes for the sake of it.

He said: “I’m not saying I won’t make changes, but when you get in and you play well and you win, it’s your job to get out of it. It’s their job to stay in it.

“It’s them that decide - unless I think someone is knackered, of course, then I’ll give somebody a rest.

“But continuity is a really good thing. I got asked that question, ‘How do you get it?’. Keep going, continuity with playing the same team if you can.

“We’re not playing 46 games and I’m not having to rotate all the time.”