Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth refused to enter a war of words with Joey Barton after the former England midfielder’s criticism over his weight.
Ex-Burnley man Barton hit out at Unsworth following Everton’s 2-0 defeat at Leicester on Sunday, which kept them in the Premier League relegation zone.
Unsworth is in charge after Ronald Koeman was sacked earlier this month and came under fire from Everton fan Barton.
Barton told talkSPORT: “I saw him getting onto the coach as Everton manager the other day, he doesn’t look right. He’s waddling onto the coach.
“I was reading a British Army service manual the other day and one of the things it says is ‘you’ve got to be fit to lead your troops into battle’. Now I’m not saying you can’t manage Everton if you’re overweight but it certainly doesn’t look right.
“He’s standing in his suit on the touchline, he doesn’t look like a manager for me.”
But Unsworth dismissed Barton’s comments immediately afterwards.
“I’ve not seen that. It’s not a problem what Joey Barton says, I couldn’t care less,” he said.
Defeat left Everton third bottom with two wins from 10 games but Unsworth is hopeful Michael Keane will return to face Watford at the weekend after being hospitalised following an infection in his leg.
Jamie Vardy’s opener and Demarai Gray’s deflected strike won the game for Leicester in Claude Puel’s first game in charge.
Puel had been criticised for a perceived tedious style at Southampton last season, where they scored just 17 times at home, but is keen to dispel that myth after his Leicester era began.
“I think it is a mistake because if we see again a lot of games with Southampton, we played some good football and there were a lot of chances we created but without a good clinical edge,” said the Frenchman, who was appointed Craig Shakespeare’s replacement on Wednesday.
“When you don’t score it is always difficult and a problem is ‘we don’t play football’. But it was not this with Southampton because we started with the ball, we created a lot of chances.”