After another loss last night against Lyon, Everton find themselves out of Europa League and seemingly out of ideas.
David Unsworth’s 3 match reign has been anything but successful, and the Toffees stumble into Sunday’s match with Watford on the heels of losing 12 of their last 14 competitive matches.
So when Unsworth sat down for his press conference today before what may well be his last match as Everton’s interim manager, the message was clear.
We messed up, but we need your support.
“Everybody was disappointed and rightly so, you should be disappointed. We wanted to go there, win the game for our fans. To have three or four thousand Everton fans travel there, it hurts. It hurts me, because I am one of them. I am devastated for them.
“It’s my job to pick the team up, to pick a team, to get everybody going again. We have to put that behind us and come together to win on Sunday.”
The Toffees started off slowly again yesterday, but somehow found themselves in a scoreless match well into a second half they were seemingly in control of.
Then, the same defensive lapses that have undermined the Toffee’s efforts all season reared their ugly head, a fact Unsworth did not deny.
“I picked a team to win the game, we gave opportunities to other people, two other players who have been chomping at the bit and with something to prove.
“There were some decent performances. For 70 minutes we did a great job, but you can’t play football for 70 minutes, it’s a 90-95 minute game.
“Unfortunately we conceded a couple of poor goals. We have to put it behind us now and concentrate on Sunday.”
While there can certainly be an argument about if yesterday’s effort was a ‘great job’, it was obvious the interim manager is excited to move from a European campaign gone sideways from the start.
If Unsworth has ANY chance of sticking around as the Toffees manager after the upcoming international break and beyond, the squad must get three points on Sunday.
However, as he tells it, the upcoming match is not about his own future, but about the club’s.
“No, no, it’s as it was. I spoke to the Chairman last night, it’s as it was.
“I speak to the Chairman every day, which is great. He’s been a great support, so have all the Board members who have been with us over the last couple of weeks. The communication has been great.
“I’m proud to be Everton manager. But it’s not about me, it’s about what’s best for the club. We need a win for the fans and the players. We all need to come together and win a game of football.”
One thing Unsworth IS counting on, however, is the positive influence Goodison Park should have on bringing the squad together. He is keenly aware of the current mood of the Toffees faithful and is focused on raising the mood with a positive on field performance.
“We discuss, talk, we look at the sessions in great detail. We look to lift their spirits and try to give them confidence to try to win the game of football.
“When our fans get behind us, there’s no better place to play football. I know they will be behind us Sunday.”
With Everton’s season hanging in the balance, I certainly hope he is right.