David Unsworth has admitted he doesn't know who Everton's next permanent boss will be - but revealed the club appears close to finally making an appointment.
The temporary Toffees manager spoke to the press ahead of Wednesday's massive match against West Ham (h/t the Liverpool Echo) and explained how the club's ongoing search could finally have an end in sight.
Sam Allardyce had been earmarked as favourite to land the post but reports on the continent - most notably from Sky journalist Gianluca Di Marzio - have claimed that Shakhtar Donestsk's Paulo Fonseca is now Farhad Moshiri's preferred choice for the Goodison Park hotseat.
Unsworth, though, refused to be drawn on who he expected to see in the dugout in the very near future and instead spoke of the need for everyone associated with the Blues to back whoever was installed at the helm.
He said: “We don’t know. We will support them, give them backing from the club and fans, give them time to impose their values and ideas on a team that is underperforming.
“We need our best players back fit, they could all be around the same time.
“And we need January because we have areas we need to recruit. We have a massive week, a big game tomorrow and Saturday. We need to start winning quickly.
"As we sit here now i believe the board are talking to a few people. Talks are progressing but nothing is finalised.”
Unsworth went on to comment about the lack of fight within the current first-team squad in L4 after some of Everton's stars came in for criticism for not giving their all for the cause.
Back-to-back heavy losses to Atalanta and Southampton has led to calls on social media for certain players to be sold in January, and the man dubbed 'Rhino' appeared to state that those unwilling to help keep Everton in the Premier League should move on.
He added: “The players need to stand up and be counted. We need men and we need mental toughness. Those players who have not got the bottle to stand up for the fight need to be honest and say it.
“In January we might need to recruit proven Premier League players who are up for the fight.
“I think when you’re in a tough moment, in this day and age, mentality of players isn’t what it used to be. Sometimes players will take the easy way out and shirk responsibility. I’m asking players to perform.
“We’ve had numerous training session where I’ve been impressed, but you don’t want training ground players.”