Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels says 'women more emotional than men' in post-match interview

Northern Ireland dumped out of WC qualifiers. Image compressed for web.
Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels Credit: PA

Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels has been criticised for comments he made after his side's 5-0 loss in Belfast on Tuesday.

Former England international Ian Wright branded the comments 'foolish'.

It was an historic night at Windsor Park as Northern Ireland faced England in front of a record crowd in the World Cup qualifier.

But a shadow has been cast over the game after boss Shiels said "girls and women are more motional than men".

In a post-match interview, he said: "I thought they were struggling a wee bit at times to open us up until the psychology of going two up.

"In the women's game you'll have noticed if you go through the patterns, when a team concedes a goal they concede a second one within a very short period 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."

The comments drew criticism, with Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill and former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright posting on Twitter.

Michelle O'Neill said: "Some accuse women of being too emotional for all walks of life; politics, business, sports."If powerful emotions of passion, hard work, resilience and determination to succeed are what’s being referred to here, then keep being class women."

Ian Wright said: "Kenny Shiels talking foolishness! Talking about emotional women ! Didn’t that man see how many times I was crying on the pitch!"

Former Arsenal player Alex Scott welcomed the comments.

The IFA has said it will not be commenting.