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Northern Ireland head coach Kenny Shiels believes that goals are more likely to be conceded as women are more emotional than men. Shiels said so in a press conference following his side’s 5-0 thrashing by England in World Cup qualifying. The result meant that their hopes of qualifying ended in front of a crowd of more than 15.000 fans.

“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, that when a team concedes a goal they concede a second one within a very short period of time,” Northern Ireland boss Kenny Shiels said. “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. So if you watch, if you go through the stats – which journalists love to do – go through stats and you’ll see teams conceding goals in 18 and 21 minutes, and then in 64 and 68 minutes. They group them because that is an emotional goal.”

“When we went 1-0 down we tried to slow it right down to give them time to get that emotional imbalance out of their heads. That’s an issue we have,” Shiels added. “It’s not just in Northern Ireland, but all countries. We conceded in 48, with three in seven minutes or three in nine on Friday [in a 3-1 defeat to Austria]. We were conscious of that when we went 1-0 down, we killed the game and tried to just slow it right to give them time to get that emotional imbalance out of their head. And that’s an issue that we have – not just Northern Ireland – but all the countries have that problem.”

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