World Cup qualifying: NI manager Kenny Shiels wants youngsters to learn on Windsor Park stage against Latvia

His assistant manager Kenny Shiels, and his son Dean, have led Northern Ireland's seven consecutive wins in competitive sports.
Qualifying matches for the 2023 World Cup: Northern Ireland v Latvia Date: Tuesday 21 September Kick-off at 19:00 BST. Coverage: Live streaming on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and live text commentary with in game clips. Match report and highlights online

Kenny Shiels, Northern Ireland manager, says he will be able to turn to more of his younger players in the World Cup qualifier against Latvia at Windsor Park.

Tuesday's match will see the NI women’s team make a return to the national stadium, for the first time since 2012.

Shiels stressed the importance to future-proof his team and stated that he would be making changes in the side that beat Luxembourg 4-1 on Friday.

He stated, "Our model is all about developing people first and then players."

"I will make things better. Some of the younger players were drip fed on Friday night. It would be similar in that we want to help them learn on the stage, rather than on the training ground.

"There is a huge difference, and if we can get young players to play in international stadiums, in an environment that will be a learning environment, then the results become secondary."

"We need to prepare for the possibility of losing players in the next few years, when they reach an age where they may want to pursue other interests or feel that they have given up on the sport.

On Monday, the Northern Ireland squad trained in Windsor Park

"In the event that that possibility arises, we have to prepare from under the skin of the young ones who are coming through."

Northern Ireland started their campaign well with a convincing victory over Luxembourg. The goals were scored by captain Marissa Callaghan and Rachel Furness, Lauren Wade, Emily Wilson, and Lauren Wade - Emily's first international goal.

This was Shiels' seventh consecutive win in competitive matches, and the manager is eager to keep up the winning streak.

Shiels, who had called for Northern Ireland supporters to flood Windsor Park after the Luxembourg win, reiterated the importance of having large crowds at a stadium where his team believes the pitch will improve their possession-based style.

He continued, "The pitch is in perfect condition and it suits our needs."

It gives us a platform where we can perform to our best, hopefully. It's our first grass surface in quite some time and it looks great.

It is part of our game, but it also allows us to find more spaces faster so that we can move the opposition faster. It is the best stadium, so it will be the best place to play.

"We want to break every record possible"

Shiels is optimistic about the Latvia match, specifically. It will be against a team ranked 101st around the world.

"It's a winnable sport, so we always enter with that attitude, regardless of whether we are playing England or Austria.

"We must classify them as someone we could possibly beat. If we don't, then we shouldn’t be in this match.

We want to win every game. We have seven wins on the bounce, which is amazing, and we want to get eight. This is what motivates us - we want the girls to set all records.

"I cannot even imagine what the girls will feel if they get a result at National Stadium. It would be a great feeling for them, me and all the staff. This would be a significant step forward.

Captain Marissa Callaghan said that she and her teammates are enjoying the pressure of the match.

"We cannot wait, this is the big game. It is a big game and we expect to win it. However, there is immense pressure. We love that pressure and can't wait to get on the pitch." she stated.

"It's an enormous step forward, and we feel immense pride at having the opportunity to play here and for the fans that come along to watch us as the women's team. The game is developing rapidly in this country, and great strides are being taken.