Northern Ireland women explain defence of manager Kenny Shiels 2 months ago

Northern Ireland women explain defence of manager Kenny Shiels

Shiels recently came under fire for his comments in a post-match interview

Northern Ireland women's captain Marissa Callaghan has issued her support to manager Kenny Shiels after he was forced to apologise for comments made on Tuesday.

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Shiels claimed women are 'more emotional than men'

Shiels claimed that women concede goals in quick succession as they are more "emotional than men" after his Northern Ireland side were beaten 5-0 by England.

"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," he said.

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"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."

Straight after the comments, Shiels then said: "I shouldn't have told you that," before releasing a further statement on Wednesday.

His comments led to backlash from several people, including James McClean, ex-England goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain and Women in Football's CEO Yvonne Harrison.

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Northern Ireland women's captain statement

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A statement posted on Instagram by Callaghan said: "In light of recent events, collectively we stand by our manager.

"We feel his interview was in relation to a meeting we had as a team where we analysed that we concede goals in quick succession and emotions was one of the many things we discussed.

"Since Kenny took over our national team 3 years ago, I have always complimented him publicly on how he can get the best out of his players individually and collectively. He is a man of integrity who cares for us like we are family.

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"Kenny has transformed the game here in Northern Ireland because he understands how to get the best out of his players. We have qualified for a major tournament because he transformed our mindset.

"We look forward to the next few months as we continue to prepare for the Euros this summer. Selling out the National Stadium has been a pivotal moment for the game here in NI and we as players and staff will continue as a team to help grow the game and inspire the next generation of young players and fans."

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