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Owen Coyle Gives Fabrice Muamba Update

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Big smiles
Big smiles

Owen Coyle won the Barclays Manager of the Month yesterday. He didn't win it because of brilliant tactics, or an incredible run, although Bolton's form certainly looked up in March, but he won it because sometimes being a manager is about more than the team sheet. Sometimes a club needs more than just a man on the sidelines, it needs someone who can pull everything together when it feels like it may fall apart. In March, Bolton was that club and Owen Coyle was that man. The way he handled the Fabrice Muamba situation set the tone for all of the players, club staff, and the world at large, and he did it perfectly.

Today, Coyle gave us an update on Muamba's status as we near 3 weeks since the initial collapse.

"When I went to see him last week, he was able to walk around his room.He's come out the bed and sat in the chair. That was a week ago. And bit by bit the improvements are coming. God willing he gets back to a high standard.

"He's getting better day by day. It's truly remarkable, given where he's come from, when his heart stopped for over an hour and a half. There was a concern about the lack of oxygen during that period, but where he is now is terrific. He's still got a long way to go. He's stable. But he's still in intensive care.

"The specialists were fantastic, kept us informed every step of the way. They were astonished by his progress. Even by the Monday, they just weren't expecting that to happen. It's been a continual progress. He's such a physically strong guy. But I have no doubt all that energy that came from all the good wishes have played a part.

"What they did in those initial stages - to be honest, with this stuff I'm out my comfort zone - they did a cooling off, brought the body temperature right down, then stabilised it and brought the temperature back up so that the heart could kick in of its own accord. That was the critical moment. The concern they had was the oxygen to the brain. But the reaction he has had has eased that worry. He's going the right way."

Fab is not quite out of the woods yet, but the progress he has made is absolutely incredible. It's pretty safe to say that this progress has been a factor in the club's resurgence of late, as teammate Sam Ricketts notes.

"When Fabrice started to get better there was just a new buoyancy around the place. It brought everybody together again because we see that he is making a remarkable recovery.

"We've got two home games in the next week or so and we'll be looking to win those."

In the first half of the season and a good portion of the second was marked by not apathy exactly, but a definite lack of direction. The spirit that won Bolton so many matches last season now seems to be back.