Everton forward Wayne Rooney has defended caretaker manager David Unsworth, insisting that he has delivered “positive” change.

The Toffees have been searching for a new boss since Ronald Koeman was sacked last month, less than 24 hours after the 5-2 home defeat by Arsenal in the Premier League.

Rooney’s comments will shock some Everton fans as Unsworth has lost four of his six matches in temporary charge of the club.

Last night’s 5-1 home defeat to Atalanta in the Europa League has put even more pressure on the board to appoint a permanent manager as soon as possible and was described by Jermaine Jenas as a “new low” for the club and the manager.

However, bizarrely, Rooney insists Unsworth is doing a good job.

“Obviously there has been a change of manager but I still believe it’s been a positive change in terms of performances, tonight aside,” said Rooney, as quoted by the Daily and Sunday Express.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“Since David Unsworth has come in, there has been a great atmosphere among the players, some positive results, the players are enjoying it day to day.”

The highly-rated Marco Silva had emerged as Everton’s prime target for the managerial role, but his club Watford are refusing to let him leave.

Rooney refused to comment on whether Unsworth should be considered a full-time option for the role, but did call for the Everton board to end the managerial uncertainty.

“The board have got a decision to make and I’m sure they’re working on it,” he said.

Everton had got themselves back into the game last night at 2-1 but conceded two goals in the final four minutes and then another in injury-time to slump to their heaviest European home defeat in history.

The Toffees have now conceded two or more goals in each of their last eight matches.

Unsworth’s side are currently 16th in the Premier League table and return to domestic action on Sunday afternoon against Southampton.

In other Everton news, former Toffees defender Phil Neville has revealed what he thinks the club need more than a new manager.

We’ve launched a << BREAKING NEWS FEED>> exclusively for your club. ‘Like Us’ on Facebook by clicking here if you want 24/7 updates on all Everton breaking news.