Unsworth holding the fort at Everton

David Unsworth during his time on the PNE coaching staff
David Unsworth during his time on the PNE coaching staff

Former Preston North End coach David Unsworth will take charge of Everton in their League Cup tie at Chelsea on Wednesday night following the sacking of Ronald Koeman.

Chorley-born Unsworth could remain as caretaker boss until the international break as the Toffees look for Koeman's replacement.

When at North End, Unsworth worked initially as development coach and then as first-team coach.

He was caretaker manager after Darren Ferguson was sacked in December 2010, holding the fort until Phil Brown arrived.

When Brown was sacked a year later, Unsworth and Graham Alexander were appointed joint caretaker managers.

If Unsworth impresses in his stint as caretaker at Goodison Park, he could be considered for the job full-time.

He is highly-regarded at Everton for his work with their Under-23 side, having guided them to the Premier League 2 title last season.

Burnley's Sean Dyche is currently the bookmakers' favourite while Watford's Marco Silva and the out-of-work David Moyes, who spent 11 largely successful years with Everton, also have short odds.

Yet majority shareholder FarhadMoshiri may wish to appoint a manager with a greater global standing having noted last year that he hired Koeman because he felt they needed "a star to stand on the touchline" in a region where Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp all work.

After a decorated playing career and a managerial CV that listed Ajax, Benfica and Valencia, Koeman certainly met that criteria when he was recruited from Southampton.

He led the club back into Europe via a seventh-placed finish in his only full campaign at the helm and there was optimism for more still after a summer spending spree that featured signings like Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen.

Yet, still unable to fill the void left by Romelu Lukaku's exit to Manchester United, it has so far not panned out, and Koeman's successor will inherit a squad that has accrued just eight points from nine league fixtures.