Everton candidate feels ‘game should be played a certain way’

Matt Stead

Everton interim manager David Unsworth has not been given a timescale or a points target to prove himself good enough for the full-time job.

The Under-23 coach has assumed first-team duties following Ronald Koeman’s sacking and immediately announced his intention to fill the role permanently.

Unsworth, a former Toffees defender with 350 appearances behind him, has a good relationship with chairman Bill Kenwright, and while the pair have discussed plans for the short and long term that has not been translated into tangible numbers.

“The chairman has just asked me to take it and he’s going to talk to me every day and we will discuss it all the time,” said Unsworth, whose immediate priority is to face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup at Stamford Bridge.

“There has been no points total or number of matches, I am just honoured to have been asked to take the team.

“Hopefully there is a run of games in which results and performances will probably dictate that.”

Unsworth, who spoke of his desire to persuade wantaway midfielder Ross Barkley to stay at the club despite being in the final eight months of his contract and almost joining Chelsea on deadline day, is likely to play a more open style than Koeman.

But the 44-year-old insists it is unrealistic to be make huge changes at this stage of the season with the limited time he has at his disposal in between Premier League and European matches.

“Big changes? No. Maybe tweaks here and there,” he added.

“I need to spend as much time as I can with players on the training ground or in meetings to get my point across and hopefully they take on board that information and produce it in games.

“I have a set of values and a way of playing I want to take into the first-team environment.

“Sometimes a change of manager gives the squad a lift – sometimes it doesn’t – but I won’t change what I believe in.

“I believe the game should be played in a certain way and I know Evertonians want it played in a certain way.”