3:31pm Monday 19th March 2012
© Press Association 2013
Bolton manager Owen Coyle continued his vigil at the bedside of stricken midfielder Fabrice Muamba on Monday hoping he will eventually get to see the player's bright smile again.
Muamba remains in a critical condition in intensive care after he suffered a cardiac arrest during his side's FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham on Saturday.
Whilst many of the squad returned to training in an effort to maintain unity at this most traumatic of times, Coyle remained in London, where he has been since Muamba was rushed to hospital, having stopped breathing at White Hart Lane. Coyle said: "Today's a day that we wait and hope for continued improvement."
He continued: "We are all after the same objective; to see that lovely young man, who has such a fantastic smile. That's what we want to see again. When you look through what he's come through in his life already, he's a natural fighter. Also, he's a physically fit young man so I think those two things will be a source of help and encouragement."
Muamba left his home in war-torn Congo in 1999 and was reunited with his father, who had fled five years earlier and sought asylum in Britain after becoming a target for rebels.
The 23-year-old has overcome such a difficult start in life to become an England Under-21 international, joining Arsenal as a youth team player, before moving onto Birmingham and then Bolton for £5million in 2008.
Though not one of the most flamboyant players, Muamba was amongst the most industrious, which just makes the shock at what has happened even more acute for Bolton skipper Kevin Davies, who on Monday spoke for the first time since the weekend drama unfolded.
"We all love Fabrice," said Davies. "I respect him hugely for coming from where he was to where he is now.
"He is one of the first into training and has worked extremely hard to better himself. He is always out there doing a bit extra.
"That is the reason why he has been so successful and has a massive career ahead of him."
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