"Why was the Bolton match abandoned?" asks Muamba

Fabrice Muamba expressed puzzlement that Bolton's FA Cup tie at Spurs had been abandoned.

But his father told him why.

He said: "Because of you."

According to reports in The Sun, the Wanderers midfielder said he was unaware of his surroundings when he awoke in a hospital bed.

The paper said his father, Marcel, asked him if he knew who he was.

Family friend Aime Esalo told its reporter: "Fabrice said 'Yes' and the next thing he asked was, 'Did we lose?'

"He was told the match was called off while the two teams were drawing 1-1. Fabrice asked why they had stopped it and his father said, 'Because of you'."

Muamba is taking his first steps to recovery after suffering a cardiac arrest at the weekend, his manager said yesterday.

The 23-year-old remains in intensive care at the London Chest Hospital after collapsing during an FA Cup match on Saturday.

Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle said he had spoken directly to the midfielder, whom he described as a "fighter", as he continues to show signs of recovery.

Coyle praised the treatment the former England Under-21 international had received but warned there was still a long way to go.

He said: "I have been in to see him myself, as has his family, and we have had a brief conversation, the contents of which are private.

"It's a great sign. I must stress we are very early in this process and there is still a long way to go but it is really positive.

"I want to go on record to thank everybody, especially the supporters of Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur for their reaction.

"The hospital has been truly remarkable in the work that they have done."

When asked whether he thought Muamba would one day return to full fitness and be able to play again, Coyle said: "It is something which has happened before.

"There are two things which might help - he is such a fit young man and in the life that he has had he has needed to fight every step of the way."

On whether it was now time to turn his attention back to footballing matters, the Bolton boss said: "Football pales into insignificance.

"At this moment in time, it is not something of great importance to me.

"We will probably have the group in training tomorrow but really our thoughts are with Fabrice and his family."

Coyle's comments come after doctors said Muamba had experienced a "comfortable night" as the star spends his fourth day in intensive care.

A joint statement by Barts and the London NHS Trust and the club said: "Fabrice Muamba has had a comfortable night in the intensive care unit at the London Chest Hospital where the medical team is continuing to monitor his progress.

"Fabrice's family has asked us to thank everyone again for their thoughts and prayers and for the continued messages of support from which they draw great strength.

"To ensure the smooth running of the hospital for all patients, as well as Fabrice's need to concentrate on his recovery, they would request that he receives no more visitors for the moment, outside of immediate family and members of Bolton Wanderers Football Club."

Last night doctors said the star had started to breathe independently as friends revealed he had mumbled his first words since the incident.

He was also able to recognise family members and respond to questions.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini today called for bi-annual medical screenings for Premier League players as he voiced concerns that not enough is being done to protect them.

Mancini said: "I was really worried on Sunday.

"Today I have read he has improved and I am very happy for him and his family.

"But if you want to know my opinion, it is that, here in England, the best championship in the world, everything is fantastic.

"But we need to improve the medical side for the players.

"We need to screen the players often, maybe two times a year, and they have to be more accurate because they don't do this.

"When I saw our medical two years ago, I was really worried. I said we need to do them better."

He added that he was stunned at the poor standard of medicals in the Premier League compared with his native Italy, adding: "It is impossible that a young guy could die on the pitch because they didn't do a medical accurately.

"I want all the players, not just ours, to have more accurate medicals.

"What happened to Muamba and other players in the past can't happen again."

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has already announced a review of medical procedures, even though the high level of care Muamba received after collapsing at White Hart Lane owed much to the fallout from the fractured skull suffered by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech five and a half years ago.

Curtis Codrington, a friend who visited Muamba, said last night: "Fabrice is speaking and moving. He has spoken minimal words in French and English."

Muamba collapsed on the pitch at 6.11pm on Saturday as Bolton Wanderers played Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane during an FA Cup quarter-final.

Dr Andrew Deaner, a distinguished cardiologist, ran to his aid moments after he fell to the ground in front of millions of fans who watched on television.

Paramedics desperately tried to resuscitate him but it was almost two hours before medics were able to get the midfielder's heart beating on its own.

A string of visitors from the football world - including Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, QPR's Shaun Wright-Phillips and former team-mate and Arsenal player Johan Djourou - arrived at the hospital yesterday to offer their support.

Manager Coyle and chairman Phil Gartside also stopped by as Muamba's family urged fans to pray for the player.

Muamba's fiancee, who goes by the name Shauna Muamba on Twitter and is mother to their son Joshua, has left a series of messages on the social networking site.

"God never puts more on u than u can bear. Ur positivity, love and faith is helping Fabrice. For that I can only thank u all xx", she wrote this morning.

Yesterday, she said: "2 everyone out there thank u so much for all the love and support collectively as a family we appreciate it all. Plz continue 2 pray 4 fab x."

She also wrote: "Fabrice has felt every single prayer guys you've been INCREDIBLE!!!. Thank u all so so much I love and appreciate u all. Thank u again xx".

On Valentine's Day she told followers she had accepted the player's marriage proposal.

Bolton has postponed its next fixture - a Premier League tie against Aston Villa - which was due to take place tonight.

Bolton captain Kevin Davies was one of a number of team-mates who visited Muamba as he remained in intensive care at the London Chest Hospital.

The player arrived in mid-afternoon with Mr Gartside to join Coyle at Muamba's bedside.

Earlier in the day, Muamba was visited by fellow Bolton stars Nigel Reo-Coker, Darren Pratley and Mark Davies.

Spurs midfielder Benoit Assou-Ekotto arrived to visit Muamba.

After signing autographs, he said: "I have no news. I am going to see him now, though."

Comments (2)

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9:09pm Wed 21 Mar 12

CarlXVIGustaf says...

Bit disappointed that his first question was 'Did we lose?' rather than 'did we win?'
Bit disappointed that his first question was 'Did we lose?' rather than 'did we win?' CarlXVIGustaf

11:12am Thu 22 Mar 12

leebwfcmuambahemmings says...

Out of everything that's happened. Fabrice's miraculous recovery. The heart warming support of world football. Out of all that your'e a 'bit disappointed' that he asked did we lose?...... Are you for real?
Out of everything that's happened. Fabrice's miraculous recovery. The heart warming support of world football. Out of all that your'e a 'bit disappointed' that he asked did we lose?...... Are you for real? leebwfcmuambahemmings

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