‘Everyone else should just go home’: Northern Ireland boss Kenny Shiels insists it would be a ‘massive FAILURE’ if England failed to win Euro 2022 as the Lionesses beat his side 5-0 to advance to the quarter-finals in style to reach
- Kenny Shiels believes it would be a “massive failure” if England didn’t win the Euros.
- The Northern Ireland boss saw his side torn apart in a 5-0 defeat by England
- A quick double from Fran Kirby and Beth Mead gave England a 2-0 lead at the break
- Alessia Russo scored two goals in five minutes for the Lionesses in the second half
- Kelsie Burrows scored an own goal to cap an excellent night for England
The Lionesses drove to a 5-0 win over the Shiels side at St. Mary’s Stadium on Friday night to lead Group A with a 100 percent record and cement their place among tournament favorites.
After feeling the full force of what England have to offer, the Northern Ireland manager was unequivocal on his prospects.
“It would be a massive failure if they didn’t win this tournament,” said manager Kenny Shiels
The Lionesses defeated Shiels’ Northern Ireland 5-0 to advance to the knockout rounds in style
Shiels said: “We haven’t played as much as we normally do because they are too good for us and it would be a massive failure if they didn’t win this tournament. Everyone else should just go home.’
England’s performance was all the more impressive given the absence of head coach Sarina Wiegman, who was back at the team hotel after testing positive for Covid-19.
Assistant coach Arjan Veurink said: “Of course we wanted to continue on the good path we are on right now, so I think Sarina will also be very happy with this performance.
England assistant manager Arjan Veurink took over in the absence of manager Sarina Wiegman
“I think the team has shown that we have a lot of qualities, whatever is going on, and that’s what pleased me the most.
“They were calm, they were relaxed and it’s not great that Sarina isn’t here, but they reacted really well and I’m happy with the team’s performance and the great goals they scored.”
Wiegman could also miss the quarter-final game against England. After securing a place in Group A, they meet runners-up from Group B – either Spain or Denmark – in Brighton on Wednesday.
“As we all know, everyone reacts differently to Covid, so it’s hard for me to comment on that,” Veurink said. “But as Covid has taught us, we can do a lot of things digitally too, so hopefully she’ll be on the team as soon as possible.”
Arsenal striker Beth Mead extended England’s lead to two just before half-time
At the start of the game, England had scored 93 goals in 16 games since Wiegman took the helm in September 2021 and they continued on that winning streak even without her on the touchline as they have scored 14 unanswered goals at Euro 2022 so far .
Group winners England needed until 40 minutes to break through against already eliminated Northern Ireland, but Fran Kirby’s beautiful strike put them ahead and Beth Mead quickly doubled her lead just before half-time.
Substitute Alessia Russo, who came on for Ellen White at half-time, struck twice in close succession right after the restart before Kelsie Burrows completed the goal with a late own goal.
It ended Northern Ireland’s Euro 2022 campaign after losing three games in three
Shiels was proud of his side’s performance, although in the end they were convincingly beaten by a team he believes should win the trophy.
Shiels, whose squad included 13 amateur players, said: “I think it would always be difficult for us but I don’t know if anyone realizes that England haven’t conceded a goal in the last three years (World Cup qualifiers, Euro – and European qualifiers) football and we played them four times.
“They are that much farther up the ladder from us.”
He added: “I was proud of the players, how they lined up, they gave their all and I have to say I was really impressed with how we stuck to our task.”