Italy: Mancini keeps faith in Euro 2020 winners
Swiss frustrate Mancini's hopes
After finishing second to the Swiss, who thrashed Bulgaria 4-0 in their final qualifying game, Italy will have to come through two play-off games - having missed out on the 2018 World Cup finals after losing to Sweden in the play-offs.
Mancini was frustrated that his side were unable to break down a stubborn Northern Ireland defence in Belfast, as the Azzurri struggled without several key players including Marco Verratti, Giorgio Chiellini, Ciro Immobile and Leonardo Spinazzola.
However, he did tell reporters: "I continue to believe that we are a great team."
Italy beat England on penalties to win the Euro 2020 final in July and they will be hoping their knockout prowess will see them through next year's play-off semi-finals and final.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Mancini said: "We made life complicated for ourselves and qualification should've been sealed at least two games ago."
Mancini calling for calm
"We had the chances and didn't take them, now we've got to keep our feet on the ground, because there is still the possibility of qualifying for the World Cup."
He added: "We've got to rediscover our calm for March and continue playing. It will be different, these are knockout fixtures.
"I believe we will go to the World Cup, as we have two games to play and will be sure to do it right."