CASEY Stoney insists she would not see managing in men’s football as a step up.

For some time, there have been calls for the brightest female bosses in the game to be offered an opportunity in the Premier League.

But Stoney, who was born in Basildon, says she does not expect to make the crossover into the men’s game.

In her BBC Sport column, the Manchester United Women manager said: “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. 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. I’m well supported, I love the players I work with and I’m still learning about the game and the way I want to coach.

“Sure, there are slight nuances in women’s football - you have to be a bit more emotionally intelligent - but players are players and I think a woman can make the step because the skills are transferable to the men’s game.

“Players need to know when they’ve done well, they need to be critiqued when they haven’t done well and you need to develop and help them.

“It’s still a huge barrier that we have to overcome, but I think England head coach Phil Neville coming over from the men’s game has shown that the status of women’s football is improving.”

Stoney - who grew up in Wickford - guided Manchester United Women to the FA Women’s Championship title last term, but she feels there is a perception that females need to work harder to achieve their goals in football.

The 37-year-old added: “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, which is impossible for me because I give enough as it is as Manchester United manager.

“Whenever I go on a coaching course, I have to spend the week earning respect, whereas a man gets it automatically.

“So I can only imagine the pressure a woman would be under if she was a manager in the men’s game, a subject that was brought up when Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes was talked of as a potential successor to the Chelsea men’s team boss Maurizio Sarri.

“Those who have tried it tend not to last that long. Corinne Diacre was an exception, having managed French men’s team Clermont Foot for three seasons, but now she’s the manager of the France women’s team and doing well at the World Cup.

“It would be a very brave decision taking that step because you have to realise the timespan 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.”