Muamba message lifted Bolton players
Bolton manager Owen Coyle has revealed that Fabrice Muamba sent a good luck message to his team-mates on the eve of their 2-1 win over Blackburn at the Reebok Stadium.
Muamba remains in intensive care at the London Chest Hospital after he suffered a cardiac arrest at Tottenham seven days ago that stopped his heart beating for 78 minutes. Thankfully, the 23-year-old has started to recover and was well enough to add his hopes for a positive outcome to an emotionally charged day.
And Coyle expects the message will be returned, through Muamba's father Marcel and fiancee Shauna, that Bolton are out of the relegation zone. The Scot said: "Fabrice managed to send us a message through one of the consultants to say he wished the lads well."
He added: "It was great when we heard that. Our chairman has been in touch with Marcel this week and I am pretty sure the information about the game has been passed on to Fabrice."
Rather than limit themselves to a minute's applause, as stated in the schedule to the pre-match planning, Bolton's supporters responded to the start of a montage being shown on a big screen before the players emerged from the tunnel. The 23-year-old's name was sung immediately before kick-off, and then at the end Bolton celebrated victory with a huddle.
"It is a private thing," said Coyle, when asked what had been said. "I wanted to thank everybody for their efforts.
"It has been an emotional week and the players were out on their feet at the end, both physically and mentally. But that is a small thing compared to the fight Fabrice has got."
However, after his own team had come into the game following successive home wins, Blackburn manager Steve Kean felt the occasion got the better of them.
"I told the lads to separate the occasion from the game," said Kean. "We wish Fabrice all the goodwill we can give but we had to play the match.
"The Bolton players had a spring in their step and once they got their noses in front it was difficult."