Owen Coyle wants Fabrice Muamba to attend crucial Bolton showdown against Tottenham


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The Independent Football

Bolton manager Owen Coyle feels tomorrow's Premier League home game against Tottenham could present a "wonderful opportunity" for Fabrice Muamba to thank fans and players from both clubs for their support following his cardiac arrest last month – if he feels up to it.

Since he collapsed on the pitch during the FA Cup tie against Spurs at White Hart Lane on 17 March and his heart stopped beating for 78 minutes, Muamba has made a remarkable recovery and was discharged from hospital two weeks ago.

On Saturday, the 24-year-old former England Under-21 midfielder took to his Twitter account for the first time since the incident, posting a message to thank people for their "prayers, love and support" and wishing his team-mates well ahead of their match at Sunderland that afternoon, which the relegation-threatened side drew 2-2.

Given the opposition, Coyle would be delighted to see Muamba come along to watch from the stands at the Reebok Stadium – although he has stressed that the decision ultimately lies with the player, his family and his doctors.

"We have always said that before the end of the season we would love it if Fabrice was fit and available to come to a game," Coyle said. "We have to remember after everything he has been through, it has to be the right thing for him, his family and the medical team.

"But it is an open invitation, and if Fabrice is fit and well for that then I think the game against Tottenham would be a great opportunity, because of the events that took place at White Hart Lane.

"It would give a chance for everybody to see how well he is doing and from his end, it would also give him a chance to thank both sets of fans, who were magnificent on the night, and the Tottenham players because the concern they showed for Fabrice that night was remarkable."

Coyle is not surprised by the Football Association's decision to approach Roy Hodgson rather than Harry Redknapp about the England manager's job.

"I always felt it was between the two of them. There was the clamour for Harry and we all understand why. But it didn't surprise me that they then tried to approach Roy," he said.

"Roy is a terrific manager, someone I have a lot of time for, and I have no doubts he can bring real success to the England national team."