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12:00 PM UTC
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Newcastle UnitedNewcastle United
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 By PA Sport

David Unsworth urges senior Everton stars to step up in Watford clash

David Unsworth has urged senior players such as Wayne Rooney to play a leading role when Everton face Watford on Sunday.

Everton have lost their last five games, three of those under caretaker manager Unsworth, and are in the relegation zone.

Unsworth left Rooney, Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka at home for Everton's 3-0 loss to Lyon on Thursday, which ended their Europa League hopes.

All three are set to be involved on Sunday, and Unsworth said: "Senior players are always important and they're all top players with many appearances to their names.

"We've got a few young players in and around the squad as well, so their importance to those young players is vital.

"Any time you go into big games, and Sunday's a big game, a cup final for me, you always need your senior players who you can rely on and trust."

Unsworth, who has stepped up from the under-23s, said he believed Everton's problems were collective.

He added: "For most of the games I've been in charge we've competed, the effort's there.

"We need to try to create a few more opportunities to give everybody the opportunity to try and hit the back of the net.

"It's a little bit of everything and you try to tweak that as best as you can and you try and pick the best team and individuals for the next game, because all that matters is winning the next game.

"We stick together, and that includes the fans as well. We need to try and play with freedom and positivity, and that's my job to instil that in the players.

"We need to win a couple of games quickly, because my experience of playing in the Premier League tells me that you can go and win a couple of games and all of a sudden be in the top 10."


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