The U23s boss stepped into an interim role for the second time in 18 months after Ronald Koeman was sacked on Monday following the club’s drop into the bottom three and immediately announced his desire to secure the role full-time.
A host of bigger-name and more experienced candidates are being linked with the vacancy but Unsworth hopes to persuade chairman Bill Kenwright and majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri to look closer to home.
“Who wouldn’t want this job? It is a wonderful football club with amazing fans and it is a top job for any manager, myself included,” he said.
“I want to manage. I think the time has come to say that and I make no secret of it at all.
“The chairman, Farhad and the board have given me an amazing opportunity to hopefully get a run of games where performance levels go up and we produce some wins as well.
“From that, performances and results will dictate any future.”
Unsworth’s priority is undoubtedly to haul the side out of their current malaise which has seen them win just twice in 13 matches.
However, he has also set himself the target of convincing the currently-injured Barkley, who had what can best be described as a fractious relationship with Koeman, to remain at the club.
The England international, who almost moved to Chelsea on deadline day, has eight months remaining on his current deal having refused to sign a new contract at the end of last season and subsequently being told by the Dutchman he would be sold.
“I would absolutely love him to stay. He is a top talent, Everton has done great for him and he’s done great for Everton but he could be one of the all-time greats here,” added Unsworth, a former Toffees player in two spells from 1992-97 and 1998-2004, making 350 appearances and scoring 40 goals.
“I would love him to be persuaded by myself, the chairman and Farhad to stay and sign a contract.
“We shouldn’t be losing players of his quality. He is a top player and a great player who has come through our ranks and I feel very strongly we shouldn’t be losing our own players.
“I have not spoken to him about that (his contract) but I will be doing.”
Unsworth must first negotiate a tricky Carabao Cup tie at Chelsea tonight which has unexpectedly landed in his lap at short notice.
Chelsea ended a run of three games without a win with a 4-2 Premier League victory over Watford on Saturday but boss Antonio Conte’s future has been in doubt. Conte has the full backing of Chelsea’s players, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has insisted.
“When a top team has a few bad results the first thing people try to say is that the players are not happy and we’re not behind the coach, but against Watford you saw we fought for every moment and we fought when we were down, so everybody can see we’re behind the coach,” Courtois said.
“Those rumours are easy to spread but I don’t think they are true. If somebody is unhappy, instead of going to the press I think they would say it internally, so it’s not true.
“First of all, it’s the players that have to do it on the pitch so it was important to win, to fight. At the moment it’s more running, fighting, and battling for every ball than maybe the best football.”