Former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell has defender Toffees boss David Unsworth after Joey Barton's "uncalled for" attack on the 44-year-old manager.
Campbell, who also represented Nottingham Forrest and West Brom in the Premier League, believes that Unsworth deserves respect for the work he has done with Everton's academy.
Speaking to betsafe.com, Campbell said: "Joey Barton’s comments about Dave Unsworth in the press were uncalled for.
"Dave Unsworth doesn’t deserve that, he’s a fantastic stalwart of the Club. He’s been looking after the Academy and bringing loads of players through as you can see, he’s giving youngsters a chance.
"He took over previously after Roberto Martinez got sacked, and he went in and did a decent job. Obviously, they need a win, they haven’t been able to buy a win so they just need to steady the ship."
Campbell also touched on Ross Barkley's future at the club, stating that no matter who Everton's next manager will be, they are facing an uphill battle to keep the England international at Goodison Park.
"Ross Barkley’s got to do what’s right for Ross Barkley, his contract is up I think at the end of the season," the 47-year-old added.
"Under Ronald Koeman, I don’t think they saw eye to eye, I think there was a bit of a clash.
"Ross Barkley turned down a contract at the Club he loves and wanted to take his talents elsewhere. I’m not sure who the new manager will be, whether he can swing Barkley round, again that’s probably going to be part of the bigger plan."
Although Unsworth's position in charge of the club is still unclear, a potential return to Goodison Park for David Moyes now looks off the cards as the 54-year-old is reportedly going to take the vacant managerial role at West Ham.