Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth wants to bring smiles back to Goodison
Caretaker manager David Unsworth has made it his mission to see Everton's players smile again.
The Toffees have had little cause for optimism this season, Ronald Koeman paying with his job after a lucrative summer restructuring succeeded only in taking the team to 18th in the Premier League and bottom of their Europa League group.
Unsworth, for the time being at least, is the man in charge of reversing those fortunes and he has started by addressing the feeling at Finch Farm.
Speaking ahead of Sunday's trip to Leicester, he said: "It would be unfair to comment on other people who've gone before me, I can only comment on what I do, and I like a smile around the place.
"I like an atmosphere where players feel free to express themselves, at the same within a team structure.
"That's something I've always done, whatever team I've been responsible for and that will be no different with the Everton first team."
Unsworth's association with the club is long and deep, going all the way back to his formative years as a youth player, and he knows grinning faces alone are not enough at Goodison Park.
He realises a sharp upturn in results is demanded - in the boardroom and in the stands - and saw enough promise in Wednesday's narrow Carabao Cup defeat at Chelsea to be confident he can deliver.
"We know we need to get information into the players quickly about how we want them to play," he said.
"It is a challenge the players seem to be really up for. It's been an outstanding response.
"I saw that in the whole performance the other night, particularly in the second half with the amount of chances we created, our dominance, the desire to really play on the front foot and put in a performance.
"I said to the players after the game, if we perform like that we will be absolutely fine and start climbing the table very soon."