Unsworth says all the right things after first Everton win

Matt Stead

Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth has emphasised that he will back whatever decision the club’s hierarchy make with regard to a permanent successor to Ronald Koeman.

The Toffees, having lost each of the first three games Unsworth had overseen following Koeman’s sacking, registered their first win since September on Sunday with a thrilling 3-2 Premier League victory over Watford at Goodison Park.

The international break now beginning appears a likely period in which Everton will appoint a permanent boss.

And Unsworth, who has stepped up from managing the under-23s, said after the Watford game: “Whoever gets the honour of being Everton manager, I will shake them by the hand and wish them all the best because I want this club to succeed and be flying high.

“If it is me, amazing. If it is not, then in terms of the experience, nobody will ever take that away from me. I have stood there as a proud man at the end of the game, and have done for the last two weeks.

“What will be will be. It’s very difficult to know what will happen until I have spoken to whoever I speak to.

“But I’m sure the right decision will be made and whatever decision that will be, I will back. It’s not about me, it’s about this club being successful, and however we get that is fine by me.”

Sunday’s remarkable contest saw the hosts fight back from going 2-0 down in the 64th minute, with Leighton Baines scoring what proved the winner with a penalty in stoppage time and Watford’s ex-Everton midfielder Tom Cleverley then sending a last-gasp spot-kick wide.

The dramatic events during 13 minutes of time added on at the end came after goals from Richarlison, in the first minute of the second half, and Christian Kabasele were cancelled out by efforts by Oumar Niasse and substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

It saw Everton, who went into the fixture on a five-match losing streak in all competitions, move out of the relegation zone, rising from 19th to 15th.

Unsworth added: “There were mixed emotions in the second half, but there was an incredible spirit that this club lives and dies on.

“I’m proud of the players and proud of the fans. Hopefully that can turn our season around.

“I’ve said that to the players – this must kick-start them. This must instil some belief and confidence moving forward.”