Muamba relishing St Andrew's return

25 September 2009 08:34
The Trotters midfielder enjoyed two years at St Andrew's before he switched to The Reebok for £5million last summer. The 21-year-old has improved his game under Gary Megson and has seen his efforts rewarded by establishing himself in Stuart Pearce's England Under-21 squad. The former Arsenal youngster admits that he has fond memories of his time with the Blues but he is only concentrating on coming away from the Midlands with three points. "I enjoyed my time while I was there but this is a different chapter of my life," he told Sky Sports News. "I am looking forward to the game on Saturday and hopefully we can go there and get three points." Muamba knows first hand the intense atmosphere that Blues fans generate at St Andrew's can put some visiting teams off their game, although he is confident Bolton can come away with a result. "Definitely, it really helps, it is a really intense place to go but I'm sure if we go about our business in the proper manner we will get three points," he added. "Obviously they will look to do what Hull did last year. This year is so different to last season. "So many teams are playing really well and teams are getting harder to break down but I think we are going to go about our business over there and hopefully get the three points." Muamba, meanwhile, relishes his role as a destroyer of reputations on the pitch. The England Under-21 international has quietly but effectively carved out a successful position as the defensive lynchpin in Gary Megson's side since his £5million move from Birmingham in June last year. Last season he successfully shackled England's goalscoring midfielders Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard and only last month marked the Liverpool captain out the game until Sean Davis' 54th-minute sending-off swung the balance in the Reds' favour. Defensive midfielders have become increasingly significant in the formations used in the modern game and Muamba has no qualms assessing his importance to the team. "I get joy doing defensive work," said the 21-year-old former Arsenal youth team player, who was excellent in the midweek 2-1 Carling Cup victory over West Ham. "Defensive midfielders don't get as much credit as everyone else but I think that is the most key part of the team. "If you can keep players like Gerrard and Lampard quiet for the whole 90 minutes you are doing 70 per cent of the work for the team because those players make things happen for their team "Against Liverpool if Sean hadn't got sent off it would have been a whole different story. "It is a critical role really and I am happy to do it." Megson has nothing but praise for Muamba, whom he believes can develop into a major Premier League star. "Fabrice unfortunately gets singled out because people tend to concentrate on the fact that, at times, his passing is really sloppy," said the Wanderers boss. "But in the Premier League, in terms of closing down and putting a squeeze on in front of the back four, there are probably not too many better." Birmingham 11/10, Draw 11/5, Bolton 11/4  

Source: Team_Talk