Coyle admits concern for Bolton players

Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle fears a number of his squad may struggle to compete against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday following the collapse of Fabrice Muamba.

The midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest during the FA Cup Quarter-Final encounter with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, forcing the game to be called off before half-time.

Aston Villa agreed to postpone their midweek encounter with the Trotters, and Blackburn had offered Bolton the chance to do the same with their game this weekend.

However, with the 23-year-old now recovering in hospital, despite remaining in intensive care, the decision was made to go ahead with the fixture at the Reebok Stadium.

But Coyle revealed that any player that does not feel up to playing will be excused from the relegation encounter.

"Will it be difficult? Absolutely. The thoughts are with Fabrice to make sure he continues that recovery," he said.

"I wouldn't ask anybody to play who felt they couldn't. So far, no-one has told me they don't want to be involved.

"There comes a point that we have to play our games and move forward."

It has since been revealed that Muamba was "in effect dead" for 78 minutes before paramedics could restart his heart on Saturday night.

The former Arsenal trainee has been visited at the London Chest Hospital by several team-mates and players from other Premier League teams.

And Coyle confirmed that both Muamba’s father Marcel and fiancée Shauna wanted Bolton to play the weekend encounter with Blackburn.

"I spoke to them for over an hour and they were adamant - Bolton had to play their games," he explained.

"Everything does pale into insignificance alongside Fabrice's recovery. But we will go out there and do our best."