Appy hoping Muamba pulls through

Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba
Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba
Scott Giles  Photography by Habibur Rahman

Genius who studied in Havant is off to Oxford University with five A and A*s under his belt

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Michael Appleton believes he has been given a fresh perspective after Fabrice Muamba’s on-pitch collapse.

The 23-year-old Bolton midfielder remains in a critical condition in a London hospital following his cardiac arrest during the Trotters’ FA Cup quarter-final clash at Spurs on Saturday.

Medics spent six minutes trying to resuscitate the former England under-21 international on the White Hart Lane pitch and there were reports that it took medical staff two hours to get Muamba breathing again.

Referee Howard Webb called the distraught players off the field after consulting with Bolton boss Owen Coyle and Spurs manager Harry Redknapp.

After former Birmingham City midfielder Muamba had been taken to hospital, the match was abandoned on 41 minutes with the game at 1-1.

But while the Pompey boss was left disappointed in the wake of his side’s 0-0 draw with Bristol City on Saturday, he admitted his view soon changed after seeing Muamba fighting for his life on the field of play.

Appleton said: ‘It puts things into perspective massively.

‘You get disapponted after games and sometimes football takes complete control of your life.

‘Whether you are a player or a manager, you can’t see the wood for the trees.

‘But then obviously things like that happen.

‘It’s terrible what’s happened. Our thoughts are obviously with him, his friends and family and everyone at Bolton.

‘We are all hoping he pulls through.’

Bolton’s Premier League game at Aston Villa tomorrow night has been postponed.

But Appleton has joined the rest of the football world in sending his best wishes.

He said: ‘We’re talking about a lad who is super fit.

‘You are talking about a grown man, even though he is a young lad. He’s got a son and a family.

‘I’ve got two kids and when things like that happen you think it can happen to anyone.

‘But everyone in football is thinking of him.’

Prior to his switch to Bolton, Muamba made 71 appearances for Birmingham City - tonight’s visitors to Fratton Park.

Pompey will hold a minute’s applause ahead of the clash for Muamba and the recently deceased Brian Bromley – the former Blues midfielder.