David Unsworth: Everton are absolutely focused on winning against Lyon

David Unsworth: Everton are absolutely focused on winning against Lyon

Pre-match comments from David Unsworth ahead of Thursday’s game against Lyon.

Connor Bennett

David Unsworth says his Everton side are absolutely focused on beating Lyon in the Europa League on Thursday night and giving their travelling fans a performance against the French giants.

The Blues are yet to pick up a win in Group E following two defeats against Atalanta and Lyon and a draw at home to Apollon Limassol but Interim boss Unsworth is confident in his squad being able to overcome Sunday’s defeat away at Leicester City.

Speaking ahead of the game, the former Everton defender said: “We’ve got an uphill task but it’s not impossible. So, when something isn’t impossible, we go for it, and I certainly want to go for it tomorrow, win the game and hopefully we can then win the last two games as well. 

“We’re absolutely focused on winning the game. It’s a great opportunity for our group of players to come to a magnificent stadium, against a really good team and put in a top performance and win the game. We’re looking forward to it.”

He added: “I can assure you we’ll give it everything.”

Getting a result for the travelling fans

Despite qualification from the group stages and the Blues looking like picking up a win anytime soon being unlikely, Everton fans are still expected to descend on central France in their thousands.

Unsworth is keen to send them home happy.

When quizzed about the importance of the Europa League as respite given the club's poor domestic form, the interim boss insisted: “It is very important, because we have 3,000 Evertonians coming over to watch us (on Thursday).

“That is really important to me and I know it’s important to the players. We’ll pick a team to win the game and I know our players will give absolutely everything for our fans making the trip.”

Embed from Getty Images

Job Prospects

Unsworth is no closer to knowing whether or not he’ll ditch his role as interim boss for the permanent job or if he’ll be back working with the under-23s this season.

The Blues are reportedly set to approach Burnley boss Sean Dyche about the role but nothing is yet to come from that.

Speaking about his own prospects of getting the job, Unsworth said: “Nothing more has been said. Hopefully, we’ll sit down after Sunday, we all want the best for Everton.

“We just carry on, day by day, game by game. I’m not put off by anything about this job. This is a fabulous job for any manager. It’s an amazing job.”

Like many Everton fans, the 44-year-old is hoping for clarity during the international break, which comes after Sunday’s Premier League game against Watford at Goodison Park.

Embed from Getty Images

Injury Report

Everton will be without Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Michael Keane and Wayne Rooney for the crucial game in Lyon.

Keane is sidelined with a leg injury that has recently required surgery to remove an infection caused by an open cut, whilst the three veterans are being rested ahead of Sunday’s Premier League game.