Women's Football

Kenny Shiels blames Northern Ireland's goals conceded record on women's emotions

Ali Rampling
Shiels stated 'women are more emotional than men'
Shiels stated 'women are more emotional than men' / Charles McQuillan/GettyImages

Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels stated that women's teams have a habit of conceding a number goals in quick succession because women are more emotional than men.

Northern Ireland were beaten 5-0 by England at Windsor Park on Tuesday evening, shipping three goals in 19 second-half minutes, having only trailed 1-0 at half-time.

Four days earlier, Shiels' side had conceded three goals in the space of nine minutes as their hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup were dealt a blow with a 3-1 defeat to Austria.

"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 short period of time," Shiels said at full-time.

"Right through the whole spectrum of the women’s game, because girls and women are more emotional than men. So, they don't take a goal going in very well. You go through the stats and you'll see teams conceding in 18 and 21 minutes, and then in 64 and 68 minutes. They group them, because that's an emotional goal.

"We conceded three in nine (minutes) on Friday and we were conscious of that; when we went 1-0 down we killed the game and 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 comments marred a historic night for women's football in Northern Ireland, with the World Cup qualifying fixture attracting a record crowd of 15,348.

Lauren Hemp and Georgia Stanway both netted a brace, and Ella Toone was also on the scoresheet during Northern Ireland's defeat to England.

The two sides are set to meet again in three months time in the final group stage fixture at Euro 2022 - another historic moment for Northern Ireland, who will be making their first appearance at a women's major tournament.