Jill Ellis ruled the world with the United States women's national team, and Karen Carney says the English-born coach could be perfect for the Lionesses.

The Football Association is looking for a new head coach to lead England after it was announced Phil Neville will leave his position next year.

Carney, a 144-cap former midfield star with England, says Ellis, who won the Women's World Cup with the USWNT in 2015 and 2019, has strong credentials for the job.

Ellis, 53, was born in Hampshire and moved to the United States with her family as a teenager. She spent five years in charge of the USA before stepping down after the second World Cup win.

England will be hosts of the next European Championship, which has been delayed by 12 months until 2022, and Carney thinks Ellis would be capable of handling the high-pressure challenge of leading the team into such a tournament.

Carney told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I would probably go after Jill Ellis because she is the former US manager, she's proven. To be the American manager you're getting things fired at you, left, right and centre, so you've got to have a strong personality so I think she could do it.

"To have a home Euros, you're going to have a lot of things thrown at you. You've got to stand big and strong."

England have reached the semi-finals of the last two Women's World Cups, losing at that stage to the US last year in France, and also got to the last four at Euro 2017.

Carney urged the team to "find a way of getting a gold somehow" and said it was important to make the switch to the next Lionesses coach "a comfortable transition for the players".

Carney also appeared to question whether it might make sense to end the Neville era sooner given a decision has already been reached to move on.

"For England, if I was a player I'd probably want a bit of continuity now," she said.

"[The European Championship] is on home soil, it's an opportunity to really showcase the women's game.

"It's not a make-or-break situation, but it's on home soil and all eyes will be on us.

"So we have to give the players the best opportunity and is that to get a manager in sooner rather than later? I don't know.

"I'm sure there's contract issues in that and also the climate we're currently in."

Phil Neville will leave his role as England Women's manager when his contract expires in 2021, the Football Association has confirmed.

Lionesses boss Neville had been set to lead the team into Euro 2021, with his deal up following the tournament.

However, with the coronavirus pandemic impacting the football calendar, pushing the men's Euro 2020 into next year, the women's finals have been delayed to 2022.

Neville will continue in the position until his contract ends but will then depart, leaving a new appointment to take charge as England hosts the tournament.

The 43-year-old had also been set to coach Team GB at the Tokyo Games, though, and his role in the Olympics set-up is less clear.

The 2020 Olympics have been postponed until 2021, and the FA has not yet reached an agreement with the British Olympic Association on the possibility of Neville taking charge in Japan as planned.

"In light of the impact of current global events on the sporting calendar and in the best interests of the England Women's team, both parties were in agreement that our shared priority was to ensure the Lionesses have continuity of coaching going into the home Euro and looking towards the 2023 FIFA World Cup," Sue Campbell, the FA's director of women's football, said in a statement.

"Once football returns after this difficult period, Phil will continue his work with the Lionesses on the further development of his squad. I will support him fully with that important task while moving forward with the crucial succession planning process. 

"We will now discuss next steps with the British Olympic Association and the home nations with regard to Team GB football, and we are not in a position to make any further comment at this time."

Neville added: "As a result of the changes to the proposed tournament scheduling, we will now be working to plan for a revised match calendar once it is safe and appropriate to do so.

"I am looking forward to getting back to work with the team as soon as possible. We have a fantastic squad of players and there is plenty to work on as we look to progress as a team going into 2021."

Former Manchester United defender Neville was appointed to his first senior coaching role as England manager in 2018.

The Lionesses won the SheBelieves Cup in 2019 before reaching the Women's World Cup semi-finals later in the same year, losing to eventual champions the United States.

Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and David Beckham. The names are synonymous with Manchester United but the iconic 'Class of 92' sextet are behind the rise of League Two outfit Salford City.

All eyes have been on previously unheralded Salford since the former United stars completed a takeover in 2014, with the help of businessman and Valencia owner Peter Lim, who is the largest single shareholder at 40 per cent. Beckham became a co-owner alongside the Neville brothers, Scholes, Giggs and Butt last year.

It has been a rapid rise for Salford - four promotions in five seasons seeing the club go from the Northern Premier League Division One North to the fourth tier of English football for the first time in the history of the 80-year-old team.

Salford are now a full-time operation, far removed from the part-time outfit purchased by the 'Class of 92' six years ago, but there is no intention of slowing down. Reaching the Championship by 2029 was the initial target, with Premier League promotion and a fairy-tale date with United the ultimate dream for the group of former Red Devils, who won the treble at Old Trafford during their illustrious careers in Manchester.

Cameron Burgess swapped Scunthorpe United for Salford on loan at the start of the 2019-20 season and the former Australia youth international, who reunited with Graham Alexander at Moor Lane, told Stats Perform: "You hear about how the club is run and the first thing you hear is ambition, success. That's what it is all about. It's not so much that we have the resources and we're this and we're that, it's just success and that's what we want and you need to help us achieve that."

"Some people expect our owners down there, almost on the training pitch everyday sort of thing," he added. "It's not like that. It's the same as every other owner, they're very hands-on with things they need to deal with. But we have a manager and assistant manager who've played in the Premier League, it's not like they don't know what they're doing. Everyone does their own jobs, it's like not David Beckham is down on the pitch taking free-kicks. They're as hands-on as they need to be from an off-field perspective."

It is an ambitious and exciting project in Salford, where the Ammies were the subject of a popular documentary, detailing their rise to prominence in 2015. And expectations are high.

"You don't have to be told [about expectations]. It's there, you can see it," Burgess said. "Previous promotions, plastered on the walls. It's all there for everyone to see. You definitely feel that pressure but it's pressure in a good way. It's everyone moving in the right direction and making sure we're successful. It's that pressure to meet expectations but in a good way… it's what you want and what you play for to be able to succeed. You feel that as soon as you walk through the door."

Salford are a club close to the hearts of the 'Class of 92'. Scholes was born in the town, Giggs was raised in nearby Swinton, while the Neville brothers grew up in neighbouring Bury.

The co-owners have overseen improvements on and off the pitch, transforming Moor Lane into a 5,100-capacity arena with four new stands, modern seating, executive boxes and corporate hospitality. But the investment has not been without criticism.

Some supporters were frustrated when the team's badge and colours were changed from tangerine and black to red and white. Salford have also been previously dubbed the non-League Manchester City for their spending. Gary Neville was embroiled in a public spat with Accrington Stanley owner Andy Holt in 2018 after being accused of "trying to steal" a Football League spot by signing Adam Rooney from Aberdeen.

"It's funny because obviously the people who criticise and say these things don't always know the full story and they don't know the reason behind things. It's all about the success. People on the pitch inside football, they probably know that a bit more, it's not that same vibe," Burgess said.

"We're sort of everyone's derby because they want to beat us and impress to show they can be the ones in our shirts. That's how it'll always be. The spotlight will always be on you, but you have to thrive on."

Salford were 10th in League Two and eight points outside the play-off positions when the season was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, vying for a fifth promotion in six years.

"It's definitely strange because we've never been in this situation before. It's like an off-season. We've been told and we're pretty confident the season will restart, so we're staying fit and keeping healthy," said Burgess, who is representing Salford in the EFL Football Manager Cup.

"At Salford, it's been pretty much business as usual. They've been great in taking away the outside noise and making sure we're just focusing on what we have to do. We've been working hard as a team on Zoom et cetera. It's keeping fit and healthy as best we can. It's been pretty enjoyable."

It has been a challenging and unusual situation for Burgess and Salford, with the squad training individually amid the COVID-19 crisis, but the former Fulham defender added: "It's been pretty interesting, especially for me. I'm one of those that if you get me out on the grass, everything flows. The competitive edge takes over, it's another world. Whereas when you're by yourself, you just have to be on it.

"We have these little Zoom sessions and challenges, but it's interesting to hear what's important. You learn a bit more because you have to know what you're doing and what makes a difference. When you're on the pitch, it doesn't really matter why you're doing it, you're just doing it cause it's going to win or get an advantage. We're doing movements on the grass you don't realise you're doing, whereas when you're by yourself, you have to keep on top of those things."

Manchester United's improved form is said to be leading to increased confidence of landing Jadon Sancho.

Sancho, 19, has been linked with a move to the Premier League after starring at Borussia Dortmund since joining the German club from Manchester City.

And, with United in fine form and eyeing a Champions League spot next season, Old Trafford could be shaping as his most likely destination.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD CONFIDENT OF SIGNING SANCHO IF THEY QUALIFY FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Manchester United believe they are in pole position to sign Sancho, according to the Mirror.

The report says Paris Saint-Germain are their biggest competitors for the England international's signature.

United are unbeaten in 11 games in all competitions and sit three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

ROUND-UP

- Thomas Partey starred for Atletico Madrid against Liverpool in the Champions League and the midfielder is attracting interest. The Telegraph reports Arsenal will consider making a move for the Ghana international ahead of next season.

- Juventus are continuing to work on a new contract for Paulo Dybala. CalcioMercato reports one aspect of a possible deal relates to the Serie A champions showing how much they value Dybala by offering him a salary second only to Cristiano Ronaldo at the club.

- Out of contract at the season's end, Willian's future at Chelsea remains uncertain. The Sun reports manager Frank Lampard is keen to offer the Brazil international, who has been linked to Arsenal, a new deal, while club director Marina Granovskaia is reportedly focusing on off-season transfer targets.

- With England's women's side out of form, could Phil Neville be set for an exit as coach? The Daily Mail reports Neville is considering his future with England having won just three of nine games since finishing fourth at last year's Women's World Cup.

- Hakim Ziyech is joining Chelsea from Ajax ahead of 2020-21, and he wants a team-mate to come with him. The Daily Mail says the attacker is hoping to persuade Chelsea to sign Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana.

- Juventus are considering a move for 22-year-old Lille and former Brazil youth international defender Gabriel, according to SportMediaset.

England have sold out Wembley for the first time for a women's match ahead of next month's friendly against Germany, the Football Association (FA) has announced.

A capacity crowd of 90,000 on November 9 would top the record attendance for a women's match in the United Kingdom, set at the 2012 Olympics as 80,203 spectators watched the United States defeat Japan to claim the gold medal at Wembley.

Meanwhile, the record attendance for a Lionesses home fixture stands at 45,619 for the previous meeting between England and Germany at the same venue in 2014.

England played in front of a crowd of 29,238 at the Riverside Stadium earlier this month - a record for a Lionesses match outside of Wembley - in their first game since reaching the Women's World Cup semi-finals.

The upcoming fixture is set to fall just short of the long-standing official record for a women's match - 90,125 watched the 1999 World Cup final between United States and China at the Rose Bowl in California.

Sue Campbell, FA director of women's football, said: "This is a magnificent show of support for the squad and staff after a tremendous year of progress for the England team.

"My thanks go to everyone who has bought a ticket as we never take such support for granted.

"We started the year with success at the SheBelieves Cup, had a wonderful World Cup including securing Olympic qualification and it is only fitting that we get to end 2019 on a high - and can also say our own thank you to those who have backed us all the way.

"What will make it even more special is to see everyone who has bought a ticket turn up on the day to help smash the all-time record."

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