If Everton can continue to build on the performance against Chelsea in midweek they will climb the table “very soon”, insists David Unsworth.
The Blues were unfortunate that a dominant second half display at Stamford Bridge in the Carabao Cup fourth round on Wednesday night didn’t yield its deserved result, with the London side progressing after winning 2-1.
Yet the level of performance has given everyone a lift, with the Toffees unlucky not to get more out of a game in which Willy Caballero superbly denied Wayne Rooney and Ademola Lookman hit the bar.
And Unsworth, who takes his squad to Leicester City on Sunday, has looked to build on that upturn in mood and is adamant results will not be far off for his side.
“I saw that in the whole performance the other night,” he said. “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.
“I like a smile around the place, an atmosphere where players feel free to express themselves but at the same time, within a team structure where the minimum requirement is 100% effort.
“That’s what we like to do and something we’ve always done, whichever team I’ve been responsible for. That will be no different with the first team.”
Unsworth and his coaching team have a had few opportunities to work with the players on the training pitch, having had to travel to London for the Chelsea game on the day it was announced he would taking temporary charge of the first team squad.
Yet the former Blues defender has been impressed with the manner in which his players have taken on board his instructions and direction.
“We know we need to get information into the players quickly about how we want them to play,” he added. “It is a challenge the players seem to be really up for and have shown me in two sessions on the grass and over 90 minutes [against Chelsea] that there is a good team there.
“It’s been an outstanding response. Today was a great session and the more time we can get on the training ground will benefit everyone in the long run. It’s not been tricky at all [to get my messages across], if we aren’t on the grass then we will be talking in the meetings and the players have taken on board that information really well and quickly.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t got that time and that’s how it is. We accept that but the information we are trying to give to the players they are certainly taking on board.”