Man Utd Women's boss: Men's game not step up

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Manchester United manager Casey Stoney has said she would not see coaching a men's team as a step up and added she has no immediate ambition to leave women's football.

The former England international, who helped guide Manchester United to promotion up to the Women's Super League in their inaugural season, said working in the men's game would create a different pressure for a female coach but she would not be tempted away from her role at present.

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"Right now, I can't envisage ever going into men's football and I wouldn't necessarily see a job in the men's game as a step up, but you can never say never about anything," Stoney wrote in a column for BBC Sport.

"It would be a very brave decision taking that step, because you have to realise the time-span of a manager in the men's game averages just over a year. When you have a family and have to keep a roof over your head, leaving a potentially more stable job in women's football is a massive risk.

"I love the women's game and I owe it a lot because of what it did for me. I'm at a fantastic football club and I don't think I'd ever get the opportunity to be a head coach at Manchester United otherwise."

Stoney, who was capped more than 100 times for England and enjoyed spells with Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, said female managers have to work harder than men to earn respect in football.

But in response to speculation Chelsea Women's coach Emma Hayes could replace Maurizio Sarri and take charge of the men's team at Stamford Bridge, Stoney said she believes the skills of managing in women's football would transfer to the men's game.

"As a woman in football, it feels like you have to be twice as good at your job, and you have to work twice as hard," she said. "Whenever I go on a coaching course, I have to spend the week earning respect, whereas a man gets it automatically.

"I can only imagine the pressure a woman would be under if she was a manager in the men's game."

Stoney also said women's football was benefiting from the involvement of figures in the men's game including England head coach Phil Neville.