Traumatised Tottenham must focus says Harry Redknapp
Tuesday 20 March 2012
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is confident his players will put aside the trauma of Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest tomorrow when they return to White Hart Lane for the first time since seeing the Bolton midfielder collapse.
There was a minor improvement in Muamba's condition yesterday, but the 23-year-old remains in intensive care in a London hospital after suddenly collapsing on Saturday during Bolton's FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham.
Spurs' players have been deeply affected by the incident. Yesterday they all underwent heart tests at the club's training ground in Chigwell, where they also were offered counselling.
Redknapp admitted last night that Saturday was a "horrendous" experience for all of his squad and explained how it personally brought back sad memories of the death in 2003 of Marc-Vivien Foe.
But while he is keen to see Muamba make a full recovery, he is mindful his players must concentrate on the key games they have coming up against Stoke tomorrow night and Chelsea on Saturday.
"It was traumatic for everyone, but the lads were back in training yesterday morning and we have a big week coming ahead now so we have to go again now," said Redknapp, who was speaking at a Gillette Soccer Saturday Roadshow event in Bournemouth last night.
"We have Stoke on Wednesday and have Chelsea at the weekend so we have to make sure we are ready for those two games.
"They are so important for us. We are trying to get Champions League football and they are two massive games for us that we really need to be ready for and we will be ready."
Redknapp spoke at length last night for the first time about the galling scenes at White Hart Lane, which reminded him of Foe, who collapsed during a game for Cameroon in 2003 before later dying in hospital. Foe had a spell with West Ham during Redknapp's stint as manager before moving on to Lyon and then Manchester City.
"Marc was a fantastic player," said an emotional Redknapp.
"He was playing for Cameroon in France and he collapsed on the pitch and we lost him.
"He was a great character, a great boy, so please God, we hope that Fabrice will recover well and we are all keeping our fingers crossed.
"It felt like it was similar to that game (where Foe died) at the time on Saturday. The lads said his heart had stopped and we really were thinking... you know... it was an unbelievable experience.
"I wasn't there when Marc collapsed. It's the first time I'd seen that happen.
"It was unreal, but the right people were there to support him."
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