Northern Ireland women insist they 'STAND BY' manager Kenny Shiels despite controversial comments

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Northern Ireland women’s side insist they ‘STAND BY’ manager Kenny Shiels as captain Marissa Callaghan says he is a ‘man of integrity’ – even after he claimed female teams concede goals in quick succession because they are ‘more emotional than men’  

Northern Ireland women have defended their under-fire boss Kenny Shiels despite claiming female players are ‘more emotional than men’, with captain Marissa Callaghan calling him ‘a man of integrity. 

Shiels was widely condemned for his controversial comments after his side were beaten 5-0 by England, with the manager issuing an apology for his words.

The 65-year-old has faced calls to step down from his position – which he has held for three years – but his team have leapt to his defence following his post-match press conference where he said women are more likely to concede goals in quick succession because of their ’emotional imbalance’. 

North Ireland captain Marissa Callaghan issued a statement on behalf of the squad, insisting they were behind the boss and believe his words were ‘in relation to a meeting we had about emotion’.

Northern Ireland women have defended under-fire boss Kenny Shiels despite his controversial comments claiming women are 'more emotional than men'

Northern Ireland women have defended under-fire boss Kenny Shiels despite his controversial comments claiming women are ‘more emotional than men’

The team believe Shiels is 'a man of integrity' and said his words were in relation to a meeting the players had with their manager

The team believe Shiels is ‘a man of integrity’ and said his words were in relation to a meeting the players had with their manager 

‘In light of recent events, collectively we stand by our manager,’ she said. 

‘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,’ wrote Callaghan.

‘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.

‘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.’

More to follow. 

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