Saturday, 24 March 2012

Muamba's Troubles Will Not Make Rovers Feel Guilty

Steve Kean will not feel ashamed if his Blackburn side snatch the points from a Bolton team still mentally in pieces following Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest.

Rovers offered to postpone Saturday's relegation six-pointer derby against their Lancashire rivals until the Trotters felt they were ready to concentrate on playing again following their week from hell.

But with better news arriving daily from Muamba’s London hospital, Bolton were happy to continue their struggle against relegation.

And while Kean is respectful of the turmoil the opposition have been through in the past few days, he has no intention of holding back come kick-off.

He said: “We want to win the game. We’re not going to go there and think because Fabrice has had a bad time then we will feel embarrassed about winning.

“We’ve done everything as a club to offer to postpone it but now we’re going to go out to try and score.

“We will be celebrating if we score but that doesn’t take away from how much we respect Bolton or we respect Fabrice. It’s two different issues.

“We’re delighted he is making progress. The game is in the spotlight and it’s for the right reasons.

"When a young man like that is struck down you’re thinking, ‘This person could die.’

“It’s been staggering the amount of support he’s had but that just shows the world of football gets together in tough times.

“Everyone will want to see the round of applause and support, then it’s just another game.

“Come 3pm we have to make sure we play the game and not the occasion.”

Whilst the focus is certain to be on how Bolton cope, Kean is desperate to rack up another three points that would ease Rovers’ own relegation fears.

Kean added: "All we can do is be totally respectful to Fabrice and we have done. We need to get on with our business as it this a massive game and we don’t get the opportunity to play this fixture again.

"This is the one and only time we can go and get at it and try to get more points.

Kean if full of admiration for the way his opposite number and fellow Glaswegian Owen Coyle has handled himself in the most testing of circumstances, but is not surprised.

However, he does believe it may be difficult for Coyle to turn his attentions back to football after a traumatic week.

He added: “He’s a top fella and a good man that everyone has seen with his body language. He was very genuine with his concern and he was very emotional at certain stages.

“The fact he’s been there for Fabrice and his family and there’s been support from his players is a real show of the character he has got.

“But it must be tough for Owen to turn his attention to football. I’m sure all he’s felt is total relief that Fabrice is making progress.

“There might have been times that he felt it was going to go in a negative way and how was he going to speak with Fabrice’s family and that type of thing.

“Thank God it’s not gone that way and now he’ll probably try to refocus his players and get them back on it, which I think will be difficult.

“There’s also the added thing that they’ve had a very broken week, a lot of the players have been up and down to London to see Fabrice.

“I don’t know if their training week would be in line with a normal one because of the confusion and the emotional state the lads were in - I’m sure it’s been a very tough week for them as well.”

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