London (AFP) – Everton caretaker boss David Unsworth says the club could be forced to spend again in the January transfer window if they are to pull themselves away from the Premier League relegation zone.
The Merseyside club, who sacked manager Ronald Koeman last month, were soundly beaten 4-1 by Southampton on Sunday and are just two points clear of the bottom three.
Everton are struggling despite an outlay of almost £150 million ($200 million, 168 million euros) during the summer transfer window to bring in the likes of Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane and Icelandic international Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Sigurdsson brought Everton level at St Mary’s with a stunning strike that cancelled out Dusan Tadic’s opener for Saints, who hit back through a Charlie Austin brace and a fine Steven Davis strike.
Unsworth has won just one of his seven games at the helm as caretaker boss and with the club facing a crucial midweek match at fellow strugglers West Ham, he has called for the club to name a full-time boss.
Whoever is in charge, Unsworth believes further investment may be required to turn things around.
“If it needs players who are injured to come back or January to come and go and get new players, something has to change,” he said.
“This group of players is underperforming, whether it is Ronald (Koeman) in charge or me in charge it isn’t working.
“There is obviously something not right going into games. On the training field everything looks right, we are getting everything we want out of them but when we go into a game situation, because our confidence is low, we are conceding far too easily.”
Although he refused to accept Everton were in a relegation scrap, Unsworth did admit the coming week — they also face newly promoted Huddersfield — is hugely important.
“If the players didn’t know they were in a tough situation they must do now, it is evident. It is a massive week for the club.”