You can forgive David Unsworth for being a few minutes late to today’s Southampton pre-match press conference.
Everton’s caretaker manager knew there wouldn’t be a lot of good things to talk about after the Toffees lost 5-1 to Atalanta at home on Thursday night.
Unsworth pulled no punches immediately after the final whistle, lambasting the players for the pitiful performance.
When asked again for his thoughts, his reply was just as withering:
“The players know exactly how I feel. They know I feel they let the club down.
“The manner of the performance was unacceptable.”
“I asked the players last night to give me a problem, but they have made my job very easy.
“I wish we had more training sessions to get my message across. It has not been a problem for me. I know that the players, up until last night, were giving me everything.
“I have seen points on the board in the league. I would never get away from how disappointed I am with the performance.”
With Farhad Moshiri giving Jim White an update on the manager search earlier in the day, it was inevitable Unsworth would be asked about his own future.
Moshiri says he is “close” to appointing a new manager and is reportedly working on a shortlist of three.
“There was never any guarantees. I have spoken to the board on a daily basis. We have taken it game by game and given it everything. The players have been focused on the next game.”
“Who wouldn’t want the job? It’s nice that the players have said that. I believe them. But we have to back that up with performances and wins.”
“The pressure is there for everybody. We see that with the sackings on a regular basis.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s game against Southampton, Unsworth conceded the players owed the supporters a performance after their miserable capitulation on Thursday - even if the majority of that side are unlikely to start at St Mary’s.
It’s also easy to forget that Everton have collected four points from their previous two league matches.
Unsworth will be hoping those shoots of recovery haven’t been trampled into the dirt by last night’s result.
“We are looking forward to it. It’s a tough game. But we must have the courage to go get a result on Sunday.
“We always owe it to the fans to perform. If our players didn’t know that, they know it now.”
“We will come up with a game plan. We will pick the right team. But it’s important they have the courage to play and stick together. it doesn’t matter who is manager, it will always be the case.
“That’s one thing we’ve tried to do since I’ve got the job, build confidence and performances. Coming back at Watford was fantastic, coming back at Palace showed the players have desire and fight.
“Hopefully we will show that fight and desire to win a game and move us into the middle of the table. That will settle us down.”