Ferguson's influence evident in England boss Neville - Ellis
United States coach Jill Ellis believes playing under Manchester United great Alex Ferguson has rubbed off on her England counterpart Phil Neville.
The Lionesses are one step away from reaching their first Women's World Cup final in France having advanced to a semi-final date with USA in Neville's maiden major tournament in charge.
Neville had never managed a senior male or female team prior to landing the England job in January 2018, but he is quickly earning admirers thanks to the Lionesses' run.
Ellis is not surprised by the success Neville has enjoyed in the past, pointing to a decorated playing career where he won 10 major trophies at Manchester United with Ferguson in charge.
"A lot of us are products of our environments and obviously he had a pretty good mentor there for a while," Ellis said at a news conference to preview Tuesday's last-four clash with England in Lyon.
"I'm not surprised [by Neville's success]. In terms of managing a team, I think the team has made strides, you can see they're playing hard, brought into what he wants them to do, I think he's done a really good job.
"I haven't seen Phil on the inside so I can't speak to what he's like in front of his team. My interactions have been purely professional, he conducts himself in a great way. I enjoyed our sideline conversations - he seems like a really genuine person.
"As it relates to Sir Alex, I grew up a Man United fan so I can't speak enough about him as a manager, [he] brought the best out of his players, was ruthless at times.
"In that regard, having probably been around Sir Alex at an internal level… everybody affects us, everybody influences us, you take a little bit of that away.
"Some things you like, some things you don’t. In our lives we're all affected by people we come in contact with so I'm sure that's had the same effect."
Ellis can also list Ferguson as an inspiration, albeit her meeting with the Scot at an awards ceremony was far briefer.
Born in England, Ellis grew up a fan of Premier League giants United and said it was natural a great like Ferguson would also influence her.
"[He was] super gracious, charming, nice," she added of the Scot. "It was a brief interaction but I've read his books and being a young Man United fan back in the day, I was all in!
"I think for me I've had a lot of different influences in my life. I'm a sum of all the parts. I think I'm authentic in who I am but I definitely think you grow and you learn from watching and speaking to other people in terms of the experiences you have."