Kean hails Muamba progress
Blackburn boss Steve Kean believes Fabrice Muamba's remarkable progress will enable Rovers and Bolton to focus more on their game.
Last Updated: 23/03/12 2:43pm
Blackburn boss Steve Kean believes Fabrice Muamba's remarkable progress will enable Rovers and Bolton to focus more on their relegation showdown.
The Reebok Stadium meeting between the local rivals will be the first match the Trotters have played since midfielder Muamba collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest in last weekend's abandoned FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham.
The 23-year-old remains in intensive care but his recovery so far has been better than anyone dared imagine, which has lifted both clubs ahead of Saturday's key Premier League match.
Kean said: "It's always easier (to concentrate on the game) when the boy's making progress. If it had gone a negative way and we didn't know whether the game was on and then all of a sudden it could have been on at the last minute, it might have been difficult.
"But the fact he's getting stronger, he's communicating, I believe he's even joking and he can recognise everybody, then I think everybody goes into it in a positive mindset. It's great that he's getting there and we need to get on with the game."
Bolton confirmed on Wednesday that the match would go ahead after boss Owen Coyle had a lengthy conversation with Muamba's fiancee and father, and Blackburn were happy to leave the decision entirely with their opponents.
Kean said: "We contacted Bolton and I left a message for their chairman and spoke with Owen.
"Any way at all that we could help Fabrice or their other players, if they didn't think they had enough preparation because of the situation we were happy to postpone the game.
"The way it's gone now, he's made great progress, which we're all delighted about, and the game's on. Now we need to get on with business and try to put more points on the board on a very emotional day."
The match will undoubtedly have a different feel to it but for both teams the result will be very important to their chances of avoiding the drop.
Twists and turns
Blackburn have boosted their hopes with back-to-back wins over Wolves and Sunderland - and their first two clean sheets of the season - and go into the clash five points above the relegation zone.
But Kean knows they are far from safe yet, particularly after watching fellow strugglers QPR mount a stunning late comeback to beat Liverpool on Wednesday, a result that dropped Bolton back into the bottom three.
"There's lots of football to be played and there'll be twists and turns," said Kean. "I was at the game the other night and Liverpool probably thought they had the points then QPR came back and snatched it.
"We've just got to continue with the form we're in. Over the last five games we've managed to pick up 10 points, we've managed to score eight goals, put back-to-back clean sheets together, so we've just got to look after ourselves."