David Unsworth should look to leave Everton if he is overlooked for the permanent managerial position at Goodison Park, according to former Toffees stalwart and current West Ham United boss David Moyes.
Unsworth was handed the caretaker reins in late October following the dismissal of Ronald Koeman and, having become highly-regarded as a coach after leading the club's Under-23s to the Premier League 2 title in 2016-17, had been considered as a candidate to lead the senior team on a full-time basis, at least until a high-profile appointment can be made in the summer.
A disastrous run now appears to have torpedoed those chances, however, with free-falling Everton suffering defeat in five of his seven matches in charge across all competitions, claiming just one solitary victory and conceding 20 goals in the process.
With his hopes of being named as the lasting successor to Koeman now seemingly vanquished, Moyes, who will look to heap yet more misery on his former club when fellow strugglers West Ham visit Merseyside on Wednesday night (29 November), believes Unsworth's next step should be to try to kick-start his managerial career in the Football League rather than return to his previous post.
"If he doesn't take the Everton job I think I would tell 'Unsy' to go and manage somewhere and earn your corn," he was quoted as saying in his pre-match press conference by Sky Sports. "If you want to move on go and get a job in the Championship or League One.
"I think there has been a generation of really good players out there who I believe should go and manage and try and come up. I would say earn your stripes first and show you can organise so that you can control the team and show that your training works, all the things that are linked with management and leadership.
"I still believe the best thing to do is to go out and trust yourself to win a few games wherever you go."
With primary target Marco Silva proving unattainable at this juncture thanks to Watford's stubborn resistance despite the lucrative compensatory sum on offer, the Everton hierarchy now look to be turning back to former England manager Sam Allardyce as a safety net as they ponder the previously unthinkable possibility of a relegation scrap after a summer of big spending.
Discussions between the two parties are expected to continue on Tuesday [28 November], with The Mirror reporting that the vastly experienced survival specialist, who left Crystal Palace in May and previously pulled out of the running due, is looking to secure a two-and-a-half-year deal with an annual wage in excess of £4m ($5.3m).
Everton, whose majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri is believed to want to make a new appointment before the weekend visit of Huddersfield Town, are now said to have revised the length of their offer to Allardyce and are willing to pay the £2m fee owed to Palace in the event that the 63-year-old is hired by another club before July 2018. The Republic of Ireland's Martin O'Neill and Shakhtar Donetsk chief Paulo Fonseca are both listed as potential contingency plans.