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'Kenny Shiels talking foolishness!' - Wright slams Northern Ireland women boss for 'emotional imbalance' comments

5:08 PM SGT 13/4/22
Kenny Shiels Northern Ireland 2022
The coach claimed females are "more emotional than men" after seeing his side's World Cup qualifying hopes come to an end

Northern Ireland women manager Kenny Shiels has been slammed for "talking foolishness" by former Arsenal striker Ian Wright following comments he made in the wake of his side's 5-0 defeat to England on Tuesday.

His team's hopes of qualifying for the World Cup next year came to an end with the loss, as they sit third in the group and six points behind runners-up Austria.

Shiels felt his side had the upper hand in spells of the clash with England, but he went on to claim that they conceded the crucial second goal because of the players' "emotional imbalance".

What has been said?

Shiels told reporters: "I thought we out-witted them for long periods until it was 2-0. We knew exactly what they were going to do before they did it. We spoke about it.

"I felt they 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.

"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.”

Former Arsenal talisman Wright, who also won 33 caps for England as a player, has taken to social media to condemn Shiels' comments.

"Kenny Shiels talking foolishness! Talking about emotional women!" Wright wrote on Twitter. "Didn’t that man see how many times I was crying on the PITCH! kmt [kiss my teeth]."

What next for Northern Ireland and England?

The two teams will continue their preparation for this year's European Championship tournament, which will be played in England.

England and Northern Ireland are in the same group, alongside Austria and Norway.

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