Hope Powell believes Casey Stoney lacks the experience to coach the Lionesses and Jill Ellis is the clear candidate to lead England forward. 

Powell, who managed England for 15 years until 2013, joined the chorus of women's football grandees anointing the former USA coach as successor to Phil Neville, who will leave the role in July 2021.

The Brighton coach believes Manchester United chief Stoney is too callow for the top job and World Cup winner Ellis can help the Lionesses tame growing expectation. 

"I think if you look at pedigree, Jill would be a natural choice," said Powell.

"She's won major tournaments and clearly knows how to win at the top level so she's the standout candidate for me. It's about winning for England now.

"Casey's on a journey and management is very new to her. She's only had one or two seasons in the job. 

"Whoever gets the job, the challenge will be to manage themselves and the players in this new environment of very high expectation. 

"Jill has done in the USA and knows what it takes. She hasn't managed at a club or in England before but that doesn't make a bit of difference to me."

Ellis has all the credentials - she even grew up in England, near Portsmouth, and supported Manchester United in her youth. 

After a successful coaching career on the American college circuit, the 53-year-old guided USWNT to an era-defining fourth World Cup victory in 2018 before departing last year. 

England fell at the semi-final stage in France, beaten by Ellis' USA, and March's 2-0 defeat in the SheBelieves Cup in the final throes of Neville's tenure underlined work still to be done. 

Powell led the Lionesses to the World Cup quarters in 2007 and 2011 in an era before the FA began to unlock the potential of the women's game with increased investment. 

To whom much is given, much is expected and Powell thinks that despite progress being made, England are behind schedule when it comes to challenging for top prizes. 

"Over the years, England have really progressed and there is lots of talent now," she said.

"The professionalisation of the FA Women's Super League has helped and the investment from the FA has really boosted things. They're full-time athletes.

"Clearly, we're falling short. Technically and physically, the Americans are superior and they're able to apply it in pressurised conditions. 

"USA and Germany know what it takes to win and we're not there yet. We are closer than we've ever been, but we should be closer to those teams. 

"I know from experience the England job isn't as easy as everybody thinks, but we've got to be honest and realistic with where we are and we've got some work to do."