Fabrice Muamba urges Bolton to make right managerial appointment


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The Independent Football

Fabrice Muamba believes a strong managerial appointment will help his former Bolton team-mates return to the Barclays Premier League at the first time of asking.

Wanderers lie 18th in the npower Championship with 10 points from their first 11 games, and defeat at Millwall before the international break cost manager Owen Coyle his job.

Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - now managing Molde in his native Norway - ruled himself out of the running for the vacant post yesterday, while former Republic of Ireland and Wolves boss Mick McCarthy and Portsmouth's Michael Appleton are among those who continue to be linked.

Muamba was prevented from aiding Bolton's promotion charge when he retired on the eve of the season due to medical advice following his on-field cardiac arrest at Tottenham in March.

The ex-England Under-21 midfielder was back at the Reebok Stadium yesterday to launch Hearts and Goals, an initiative aimed at raising awareness around sudden cardiac arrests and committed to installing 500 new defibrillators in public places across Bolton and beyond.

While promoting the virtues of the piece of equipment that ultimately saved his life after his heart stopped for 78 minutes, Muamba found time to discuss the Trotters' plight.

"It's hard to see it happen to Owen but, as they say, this is football," he said. "People come and go, that's football life. If you're not doing the job up to the standards then someone will come in and do it for you.

"Regarding the football side, if we frankly look at the players we have, the way we've been playing isn't up to standard.

"The person who gets most of the blame is the manager because he's in charge of the team

"Hopefully the chairman (Phil Gartside) and (owner) Eddie Davies will bring in someone who's very exciting and someone who comes in and makes sure the changing room is back to normality. Then hopefully we'll get promoted.

"We need to be back up there (the Premier League) this time next year, but it will take somebody to come in who is very strong minded, a very disciplined person to bring the team back up again."

Muamba admits to finding life without football frustrating, although his wedding at the end of this month and a book launch pencilled in for before Christmas mean he has plenty with which to keep himself occupied.

While on holiday this summer, the 24-year-old suffered a second heart scare when the mini-defibrillator fitted inside his chest administered an electric shock to correct an irregular heartbeat.

But having been warned about the possibility by his doctors, Muamba was relaxed about the situation.

He explained: "It just made sure it's working, so it's all right. It happened for 10 seconds and it just really hit me really hard, but there's nothing to worry about."