No change in Everton manager hunt, says Unsworth
Everton caretaker boss David Unsworth says there has been no development in the pursuit of a new full-time manager.
The 44-year-old has been in charge of the first team since Ronald Koeman was sacked in October.
Watford's Marco Silva and former Manchester United and Bayern Munich Louis van Gaal have been most heavily linked with the job in recent weeks, but Everton appear to be no closer to making an appointment.
Speaking ahead of his side's Europa League clash with Atalanta on Thursday, Unsworth told a news conference: "No change [in the manager situation] as far as I've been told. We just continue to the next game."
Unsworth, who remains a possible option for the job on a permanent basis, went on to praise Everton's fans for their support of the time during an unsettled few weeks.
"All I can tell all the Everton fans is that the support I've had from every single Everton fan I've spoken to has been nothing but positive," he said. "They are fully backing the team.
"I've not been told of any frustration. They're fully backing the team; you can see that in the way they have stuck with the team. The backing that we've had off our fans has been amazing. I thank them for that."
Unsworth, who welcomed back winger Yannick Bolasie to training on Wednesday, also revealed he has begun talks with director of football Steve Walsh about possible signings in the January transfer window, despite the uncertainty over his own future.
"January is crucial. Everything I do is about Everton. Conversations have already taken place on what we need in January. In all aspects of the job I am in communication with every department. That won't change," he said.
"I have had conversations with Steve Walsh and our recruitment department. We will continue have conversations every day."
Everton's clash with Serie A side Atalanta is their first since striker Oumar Niasse was given a two-game domestic ban after being found guilty of successful deception of a match official when he won a penalty in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last weekend.
Unsworth insists Niasse was fouled by Scott Dann and believes the retrospective punishment sets "a dangerous precedent".
"He was shocked and I was shocked," he said. "He doesn't tell lies and he wouldn't go down without reason. He wants to score goals. Contact or slight contact, it doesn't matter. We're all bitterly disappointed.
"My view won't change. Contact is contact. Anywhere on the pitch, it's a foul.
"I think these people will be very busy if that's going to be the case. You will have to look into every foul across the board. We don't want contact taken out the game.
"I am all for protecting players but we do have to have experts who know what a foul is. It's a dangerous precedent that could be set if decisions go against you that are debatable."