Kenny Shiels: Northern Ireland boss says 'women are more emotional than men'

Kenny Shiels: Watch Northern Ireland manager's post-match comments

"Girls and women are more emotional than men. So they take a goal going in not very well."

On a night when Northern Ireland hosted England in front of a record crowd, the focus quickly switched from events on the field to post-match comments from home manager Kenny Shiels.

His remarks drew criticism from former England players Ian Wright and Siobhan Chamberlain.

Shiels' side conceded four second-half goals in a 5-0 defeat by England that left them unable to qualify for next year's Women's World Cup.

"I felt [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," Shiels said after the match.

"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.

"[It happens] 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."

Former goalkeeper Chamberlain, who played 50 times for England, said Shiels had to take responsibility for "knowing the value that words can hold".

"I think we all know that the five minutes after you concede a goal - not just in women's football, [also] in men's football - you're more likely to concede a goal," she told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"To just generalise that to women is a slightly bizarre comment.

"When you give post-match news conferences when you're feeling emotional after a big game, it's important to make sure that you are speaking sensibly and are aware of the message that your words can carry."

Wright tweeted that Shiels was "talking foolishness".

England went 1-0 up in the 26th minute but had to wait until the 52nd minute to add a second.

"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," Shiels added.

"Not just in Northern Ireland but all of the countries in the world."

Northern Ireland were playing in front of a crowd of 15,348 at Windsor Park in Belfast - a record for a women's match in the country.

The Irish Football Association has been approached for comment.

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