David Unsworth has called on Everton’s players and fans to “stick together” against Watford to prove there is “no better place to play football” than Goodison Park.
The Blues boss reiterated the huge importance of Sunday’s “cup final” against the Hornets during his pre-match press conference, as his side bid for a much-needed Premier League victory.
It will be the former Toffees defender’s first home match as manager since taking temporary charge last month. He admitted it will "mean everything" to have Evertonians behind his team, as he called on his men to play with freedom and positivity to help get Goodison rocking.
"It will be great to get back to Goodison Park after three tough away games - it means everything," said Unsworth. "You play the cards you are dealt and you certainly won’t find me complaining about difficult fixtures. It will be great to get back to Goodison and I can’t wait to stand there in front of 40,000 Evertonians who I know will get behind everyone.
"We stick together, and that includes the fans. The players must play on the front foot and they are well aware of what’s needed at Goodison and if they’re not I’ll be reminding of what is needed. But, in moments in the game and we need to stick together and try to play with freedom and positivity and that’s my job to instil it into the team.
"When you have 40,000 Evertonians behind you, you are playing with that confidence that they will bring to us.
"The fans have a massive role. Goodison is an amazing place to play football. When our fans get behind you, there’s no better place to play football."
Thursday night's 3-0 loss at Lyon ended Everton's hopes of progressing past the Europa League group stage, while making it eight matches without a win for the Blues.
Unsworth admitted the result hurt, especially after nearly 3,000 Evertonians packed into the away end at the Groupama Stadium in France. But he vowed to pick up his players and get them ready for Sunday's crunch clash with Watford.
"Everybody was disappointed and rightly so, you should be disappointed," added Unsworth. "We wanted to go there and win the game for our fans and to have three or four thousand fans to travel over there, it hurts, it hurts me because I am one of them, I am devastated for them.
"But, it is my job to pick up the team, my job to pick the team and get everybody going again. I don’t like dismissing games but because of the short space of time between the games we have to put this behind us and come together again to win on Sunday."