Coyle: Muamba's fight can inspire
Bolton manager Owen Coyle wants his players to take strength from the fighting qualities shown by Fabrice Muamba when they return to Premier League action on Saturday.
Coyle admits he does not know how Bolton will cope against Blackburn following the trauma endured over the past week, since Muamba suffered the cardiac arrest at Tottenham that nearly claimed his life. However, the Scot does feel Muamba has shown the way by winning his personal battle despite his heart stopping for 78 minutes.
"If Fabrice can show what a battler is, I am sure we can play a football match," said Coyle.
He continued: "We are a tight-knit group of players. We are trying to build a family club here and Fabrice is a huge part of that. We have to be proud that we are at a fantastic club and do ourselves justice in football terms, knowing our thoughts will be with Fabrice."
Coyle decided the game should be played after consulting Muamba's father Marcel and fiancee Shauna. They released their own statement on Friday morning, expressing their gratitude for the support Muamba has received over the past few days, even though it is clear the 23-year-old's recovery process will be long.
It is nevertheless a big call to fulfil Saturday's fixture given preparation has undoubtedly been affected, not least because Coyle did not return north from London until Tuesday, having visited Muamba every day since he was rushed to hospital.
In the meantime, both Blackburn and QPR have secured precious wins that once again place Bolton in a perilous state, back in the bottom three with their entire Premier League future at stake. Coyle makes light of these concerns though, insisting his team will be fully prepared.
"There is nothing about Blackburn we won't know," he said. "We will play to our maximum and see where it takes us."