Coyle still focused fully on Muamba

20 March 2012 02:49

Bolton manager Owen Coyle believes it is still too early to focus on his side's relegation battle despite the encouraging progress being made by Fabrice Muamba.

Coyle revealed he had enjoyed a "brief conversation" with the midfielder, who is still in intensive care at The London Chest Hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest in Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham, but he was keen to stress the 23-year-old has a long way to go in his recovery and that Bolton's scheduled game with Blackburn on Saturday remains on the back burner.

"It's very early in the process, the doctors have stressed that so we all know what's involved," Coyle told reporters outside the hospital. "Fabrice still has a long way to go but it's encouraging signs and whilst that is the case it's really positive and we move forward from that point."

He added: "I was fortunate to see him and had a brief conversation which will obviously remain between us. We have to understand it's early in his continued fight for improvement."

Coyle hailed the "remarkable work" being done by hospital staff and conceded he could "never have envisaged" Muamba making such improvement in such a short period of time.

But when asked if that meant he could now think of focusing on Saturday's game at the Reebok Stadium, Coyle added: "The answer to that is no, because that's not something of great importance to me at this moment in time.

"In the course of today, as we hope and pray that Fabrice continues to improve, that's something we will have to look at.

"My thoughts are that we will have the group back in training tomorrow and we will look at it from then. The one concern we all have is for Fabrice only."

Asked if he was confident Muamba would make a full recovery, Coyle added: "That's something they (the doctors) have said has happened before.

"Every case is on it's own merits, but we've said consistently the two things Fabrice has which can help him further is that he's such a fit young man and the life he's had he has had to fight and earn every step of the way. Those two things I am sure will stand him in good stead."

Source: PA