Kelly Smith admits that she would like to see a female take over as the next England Women’s coach.

Following Mark Sampson’s dismissal as England coach on Wednesday after allegations of “inappropriate and unacceptable” behaviour during his time at Bristol academy came to light, Kelly Smith was asked about who she thinks should be next in line.

“I think they’ll take their time on getting the right person, they can’t be hasty,” said Smith.

“I’d like to see a female take over, but we’ll have to see what happens.”

Smith, who retired from playing football this year, has ruled herself out of the running.

The 38-year-old had three stints at Arsenal from 1996 -1997, 2005 – 2009 and finally from 2012 – 2017.

Not including the year she spent with the Gunners in the 1990s, she scored a total of 81 goals in 83 appearances in red and white.

kelly Smith
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – MAY 14: Kelly Smith of Arsenal celebrates with the trophy after the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final between Arsenal Ladies and Chelsea Ladies at Wembley Stadium on May 14, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

Smith was also England’s top goalscorer, netting 46 in 117 caps. Therefore, many would have quite liked to see her take up the role as manager.

According to the BBC, Manchester City’s Nick Cushing, Chelsea’s Emma Hayes and Seattle Reign’s Laura Harvey are all in line to get the job.

Smith’s not the only one who believes that England Women need a female manager. Following Sampon’s sacking, Twitter exploded with fans urging the FA to put a woman in charge of the team.

Watford Ladies coach Keith Boanas, however, doesn’t believe this will make a difference.

“I certainly think with the situation with Mark they’ll go more towards a female coach because that’s considered safe,” said Boanas, “but that’s almost sexist in another way to assume that just because it’s a female coach that the same thing can’t happen.”