David Unsworth has assured Everton fans that he is “hurting” as his failed tenure as caretaker manager continues.
Unsworth stepped in to replace Ronald Koeman when the Dutchman was sacked last month, and is now into his fifth week in charge.
There have been longer-serving caretaker managers, but Unsworth’s reign has been characterised by an inability to source a suitable replacement for Koeman.
The 44-year-old admits the club’s current plight is “hurting” him, but that he will do everything he can to help.
“I’m fine, I’m hurting. As a proud Everton man, I’m hurting,” he said when asked whether he felt he had been ‘hung out to dry’.
“I think I have to tell the Everton fans how much it hurts me, just as much as it hurts them. If people see that, it’s fine. I don’t think you ever turn down the opportunity to stand where I am standing.
“You never turn down the opportunity to be Everton manager. I think it’s important to help the club out at a difficult time. Five weeks ago I was asked to do the job, I have done that. I wouldn’t turn it down five days, five minutes ago. It would still be the same.
“I love this football club.
“It’s time for people to stand up and I will be there as long as they need me.”