01 June 2020

Hope Powell backs Jill Ellis to take over England job and reveals disappointment at Phil Neville

Former Lionesses’ head coach Hope Powell has pledged her support for ex-US women’s coach Jill Ellis to take over from Phil Neville when his contract with England’s women comes to an end in 2021.

Speaking on The Football Show the Brighton women’s manager, who coached the England side for 15 years before leaving in 2013, named two-time World Cup winning coach Ellis as the ‘front runner’ for the job.

“She has the pedigree, she has the understanding of international football and understands how to win,” she said.

"I'm thinking, 'who else is around her'? Casey Stoney has been mooted, as has Emma Hayes.

"I guess it's whether she [Ellis] wants the job, if she's offered it."

Jill Ellis is among the favourites to take on the job (PA)

Powell’s revelation comes just days after Neville admitted he took on the top role with the Lionesses as a ‘stepping-stone’ to a permanent club role.

Powell was quite candid about Neville’s explanation for taking the England job on.

"I think if I read correctly, it was all about him getting experience to then take into day-to-day management, which I can only second guess and assume that he was talking about a men’s club. 

“I thought that was a little bit disappointing," she admitted.

“I think anybody that goes into the role goes into it wanting to win something, wanting to do the best job for as long as possible and really finish on a high. 

“Was I surprised by his comments? No,” she added.

And Powell is pretty sure the job should go to a woman, and someone with an inside knowledge of the game.

“My preference would be yes. I think it really sends a positive message out to other females striving to become coaches in the game and it would be a good role model for future generations.”

She added: "It’s important for me that somebody goes into that role who has the pedigree, has the knowledge of women’s football and understands about women. Hopefully, that would be a female, for me.”

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