Everton caretaker boss David Unsworth has urged the club to make a permanent appointment following a disappointing 4-1 defeat at Southampton on Sunday.
The Toffees were looking to bounce back from the 5-1 thrashing they received at home to Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday, but they were poor at St Mary’s and were punished as a result.
Unsworth’s side were fortunate to go into the break at level pegging after Gylfi Sigurdsson cancelled out Dusan Tadic’s 18th-minute opener for the Saints.
However, the hosts took full advantage in the second half as Charlie Austin bagged a quick-fire brace before Steve Davis sealed the win late on.
The Merseysiders are still searching for a successor to Ronald Koeman, who was sacked five weeks ago, and Unsworth wants to see the board take decisive action.
“I think it’s got to a situation now where if any of the players are looking at the situation now and making excuses, then it has to be solved,” he said after the match.
“If it’s going to be me, then fine and if it’s not, let’s get somebody in as quickly as possible. We need that to happen fairly quickly.
“I will back the board whatever they decide to do and what is best for the football club is what I want.”
Commenting on the result, which left the team just two points above the relegation zone in 16th place, Unsworth added: “I can’t stand here and defend the players today.
“It was a totally unacceptable performance, especially in the second half, and the Everton fans are quite rightly going to be furious with that but so am I. It’s not good enough for our football club.
“The players have to take responsibility and it’s really important that the senior players take the responsibility. We’re in a fight and the only way you get out of it is to stand up and be counted.
“You don’t shirk your responsibilities, you have to stand proud and you have to be together and there’s not enough of that at the moment.
“I’ll stand here and take my responsibility, that’s absolutely not a problem, but the players have got to come with the club as well and if they aren’t ready to do that, we’ll get players in who do.”