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Northern Ireland Women's team boss Kenny Shiels has claimed women concede back-to-back goals quicker because they're 'more emotional,' in an emotional post match interview.
Northern Ireland faced England in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night and were on the receiving end of a battering, as the visitors won 5-0.
On two occasions the team scored twice in the space of 10 minutes, accounting for four of the goals, and they led to the Northern Ireland manager to make his very controversial statements.
Speaking after the game Shiels claimed that female players were 'more emotional' than their male counterparts and that's why they often conceded straight after another goal.
"I felt they [England] were struggling a wee bit at times to open us up until the psychology of going 2-0 up in the women’s game — I’m sure you will have noticed if you go through the patterns — when a team concedes a goal, they concede a second one in a very, very short space of time," Shiels said.
"Right through the whole spectrum of the women’s game, because girls and women are more emotional than men. So, they take a goal going in not very well.
"When we went 1-0 down we tried to slow it down to give them time to get that emotional imbalance out of their heads.
"That’s an issue we have. Not just in Northern Ireland but all of the countries in the world. I shouldn’t have told you that."
The statement obviously caused outrage amongst fans, with even Arsenal legend Ian Wright chipping in to say how wrong the manager was.
I’m sorry Kenny Shiels, but women are not “more emotional” than men and maybe men could learn from how most women manage their emotions. Ironically, his comments are probably an emotional response of a coach. pic.twitter.com/TPAfDYxydS— Finian Murphy (@finianmurphy) April 13, 2022
Kenny Shiels talking foolishness! Talking about emotional women ! Didn’t that man see how many times I was crying on the PITCH! kmt pic.twitter.com/gTKIpd3fV3— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 13, 2022
A quote from Kenny Shiels, manager of Northern Ireland’s Women’s football team. 🤯🤬 How is this guy managing a Women’s team?! Or, any team for that matter??— Rhonda Brownlee (@RBrownlee33) April 12, 2022
(Excerpt from BBC: https://t.co/K6ljXneePF ) pic.twitter.com/M2eoiwaGdU
Recommended reading for Kenny Shiels and anyone finding themselves going "well it's true though" as a response... https://t.co/zaj51pfmVk— How's Your Touch (@HowsYourTouch_) April 13, 2022
I don’t want to react too emotionally to this…but what??🙄🤦🏼♀️— Emma Dodds (@Sports_EmmaD) April 13, 2022
Surely comments Kenny Shiels regrets this morning.
I’ve seen plenty of teams concede quickly at different levels. It’s usually down to the opposition’s skill and/or defensive tactics and set up. Wow. https://t.co/Cm8LdqINra
This level of 1970s style sexism from Kenny Shiels suggests he has no place managing in the Womens’ game. I’ve seen enough mens’ teams do this over the years. PSG recently spring to mind. He should go. https://t.co/8oN5HDQJmc— Malcolm Webster (@MalcolmWebster2) April 13, 2022
You know what, Kenny Shiels has a point in fairness. It is the heightened emotional state of women that makes conceding multiple goals in quick bursts totally unique to the women's game pic.twitter.com/J8399dvO1E— Phil Greene (@iampgreene) April 13, 2022
Nobody:— Mark Mann-Bryans (@MarkyMBryans) April 13, 2022
Kenny Shiels later today: pic.twitter.com/XcItEUi4sp
In the week that Cristiano Ronaldo knocked the phone out of a young fan’s hand, Kenny Shiels says that women don’t take conceding goals well as they’re more emotional than men. pic.twitter.com/iv3FP9dTdI— Adam Millington (@AdamGMillington) April 13, 2022
The claims by Shiels are certainly the kind that have no place in women's football and are the kind you'd expect by someone outside of the sport, who has never watched a women's game, because it's women, not by a manager of a national team.
The former Morton manager is set to take his side into the Women's Euros in England this summer, and he'll be coming up against the hosts again there.
Northern Ireland take on England in their final game of the group stages at St Mary's, Southampton's home ground, on July 15th.
Perhaps before then he can coach his team to defend better, especially after conceding, rather than blaming it on pretty baseless claims, stop being so emotional Kenny...