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Unsworth spoiling for a fight

Filed: Tuesday, 28th November 2017
By: Staff Writer

Former Hammer David Unsworth says both he and his squad are hurting - but are up for a fight tomorrow night when West Ham visit Goodison Park.

The former full back, affectionately known as 'Rhino' during his playing career spent one fruitful season at the Boleyn Ground before returning to Everton, from whom he was signed by Harry Redknapp for £3million in 1997.

He was appointed as caretaker manager of Everton following the dismissal of Ronald Koeman in October, since when the Toffees have won just one of seven fixtures in a period that has seen them concede 20 goals.

However Unsworth, who looks set to be without injured duo Leighton Baines and Michael Keane insists that there will be no room for sentimentality on Wednesday evening when he faces up to his former employers - ironically against new Hammers boss David Moyes, who was in charge of Everton for more than a decade.

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"I'm hurting," Unsworth told the media. "When you are giving your all and not getting the results you want, it hurts. I just want the players to puff out their chests and say, ‘come on then, I am ready for a fight'.

"I will stand with them if they give me that attitude. I will stand side by side with them. I think any manager would do that. I just want to see the players giving their all and performing for this great club.

“We need to start winning. Goodison has to help us and we need to stick together. We need men, we need courage and mental toughness. Not to just turn up and play. When times are tough, you need your top players to stand up and be counted. That is really important."

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And Unsworth, who worked alongside Moyes at Everton admitted that he would be delighted to catch up with his former manager - but hoped to spoil his return to the North West. "I wish David well at West Ham, but obviously not tomorrow night," he added.

Meanwhile Moyes had backed his former charge to make a success of management - if he is selected to succeed Koeman on a permanent basis. "I think David, given the right opportunity, will be a successful manager," he said.

"If he doesn’t take the Everton job, I would be telling Unsy 'go and manage somewhere and earn your corn. If you want to move on go and get a job in the Championship or League One, see where it takes you to'."

West Ham go into the match two places below Everton, who are currently 16th in the Premier League.

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   arrow   Pre-match press conference: David Unsworth v West Ham Utd [video] [29th Nov 2017]
   arrow   In brief - Wednesday's news round-up [29th Nov 2017]
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