With Unsworth’s difficult stint as caretaker-manager drawing to a close, perhaps now is the time for the club to make a fresh start.

That will be no easy task, with memories of the recent past hanging so heavy over Goodison Park. Opponents West Ham will be led by David Moyes, the manager who led Everton with such success for 11 years and has struggled everywhere he has been since.

Yet Unsworth has made clear that things need to change in Merseyside’s blue corner. He spoke to the media with candour for more than 20 minutes on Tuesday, discussing how much Everton’s poor results have hurt him, warning how difficult their plight is and questioning whether some of their players have shown the commitment required.

“I think when you are in a tough moment, in this day and age the mentality of players isn’t what it used to be,” he said. “Sometimes players will take the easy way out and shirk the responsibility.

“We have had numerous sessions where I have come off the pitch and been really impressed. But anyone who has been in football knows you don’t want training ground players, you want players you can rely on when the ball rolls at kick-off.”

The only area in which Unsworth was circumspect was when asked about the club’s painfully slow attempts to find a permanent replacement for Ronald Koeman, sacked on October 23. That the club’s managerial search has taken so long is a source of embarrassment to Everton.

Unsworth has been left for more than five weeks with…

…rest of the post