Criticism will not distract Ellis from World Cup quest

USA coach Jill Ellis grew up in Waterlooville  U.S. Soccer/ISI Photos
USA coach Jill Ellis grew up in Waterlooville U.S. Soccer/ISI Photos
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Jill Ellis will not be distracted in her quest to lead USA to Women’s World Cup glory.

Coach Ellis, who grew up in Waterlooville before moving Stateside at the age of 15, is preparing her side to face bookmakers’ favourites Germany in tonight’s semi-final clash (midnight).

An intriguing potential final showdown with home nation England (who face Japan tomorrow night, midnight) awaits.

But the USA’s journey through the competition in Canada has not been without its critics across the Atlantic.

Despite a five-game unbeaten run that has seen resolute USA fail to conceded a goal in 423 minutes of football, Ellis remains under-fire in the media.

But the 48-year-old, who has received the support of President Barack Obama, insists she is not fazed by the pressure.

Speaking to the Miami Herald, Ellis said: ‘It’s pretty simple (to ignore criticism) when you don’t open the Internet and don’t have Twitter.

‘I knew that going in. You can’t let anything distract you.

‘Honestly, I don’t know what’s out there.

‘You don’t go into a job like this without knowing that the expectations are nothing but high.

You don’t go into a job like this without knowing that the expectations are nothing but high.

USA coach Jill Ellis

‘I don’t lose sleep over the games.

‘This is the environment I chose to be in.’

The USA, who are ranked No 2 in the world, have not lifted women’s football’s most prestigious truophy since 1999 and Ellis understands the expectation placed on her side.

She added: ‘At the end of the day, I know that’s why I was hired, and our players understand this is the goal, to bring a world championship back to the United States.’