David Unsworth questions Everton players' commitment to club
Last Updated: 24/11/17 12:06pm
Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth has told his players to consider whether they want to be at the club after their heaviest European defeat at Goodison Park.
Thursday night's 5-1 loss to Atalanta compounded Everton's dismal run in the Europa League, which they were already eliminated from, with Unsworth's nine changes to his side having little effect on their form.
A month after sacking Ronald Koeman the club are seemingly no nearer finding a replacement, having been told to look elsewhere by Watford following their pursuit of Marco Silva, but Unsworth believes there are no excuses for the players' performances.
"I'd like to think every single player is hurting the way I am at the moment and if they are not then they shouldn't be here at this great club," said Unsworth, who has now lost four and won just one of his six games in temporary charge, conceding 16 goals.
"The minimum requirement is 100 per cent effort. Only those players will know themselves when they look themselves in the mirror at night.
"The players who have been asking me for opportunities to play in the first team were given that.
"I asked the players to make it difficult for me to leave them out of the team on Sunday and the majority have probably made it very easy for me.
"The manner we capitulated just isn't acceptable and the players know that.
"What you can't do at this level is carry players. When your best player is an 18-year-old kid (Beni Baningime) who's only had a couple of first-team appearances that tells you all you need to know.
"Players need to take responsibility - senior players, foreign players, young players.
"Everton fans will be disappointed with what they saw and so am I."
A double from Bryan Cristante put the visitors, who also missed a penalty, in control early in the second half.
Summer signing Sandro Ramirez pulled one back with his first for the club but goals from substitutes Andreas Cornelius (two) and Robin Gosens in the last four minutes plus added time typified Everton's haplessness.
Asked what damage had been done to his reputation, as a coach who guided the club's under-23s to the Premier League 2 title last season, and the chances of getting the job on a full-time basis, Unsworth said: "It is an honour for me to be a manager and lead this great club but at the same time you need your players to come with you and give you everything they've got.
"Other people will make decisions about who is the manager but I take that responsibility. At the same time when the players cross the white line they have to take responsibility.
"I've learned a lot about numerous players and that's good - but it doesn't feel good."