Kean: Let's get on with winning Lancashire derby now Muamba is making progress
14:15 GMT, 23 March 2012
Fabrice Muamba's remarkable progress means Saturday's Barclays Premier League meeting between Bolton and Blackburn can be a positive occasion, according to Rovers boss Steve Kean.
The Reebok Stadium clash between two local rivals scrapping to avoid relegation will be the first match Wanderers have played since midfielder Muamba collapsed with a cardiac arrest during last weekend's FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham.
The 23-year-old remains in intensive care but his recovery so far has been better than anyone dared imagine, which has lifted both clubs ahead of the key match.
Get well soon: Tributes continue to pour in for Bolton's Fabrice Muamba
Kean said: 'It's always easier (to concentrate on the game) when the boy's making progress. If it had gone a negative way and we didn't know whether the game was on and then all of a sudden it could have been on at the last minute, it might have been difficult.
'But the fact he's getting stronger, he's communicating, I believe he's even joking and he can recognise everybody, then I think everybody goes into it in a positive mindset. It's great that he's getting there and we need to get on with the game.'
Bolton confirmed on Wednesday that the match would go ahead after boss Owen Coyle had a lengthy conversation with Muamba's fiancee and father, and Blackburn were happy to leave the decision entirely with their opponents.
Kean said: 'We contacted Bolton and I left a message for their chairman and spoke with Owen.
'Any way at all that we could help
Fabrice or their other players, if they didn't think they had enough
preparation because of the situation we were happy to postpone the game.
Tough job: Owen Coyle (right) speaks to his Bolton players in training
'The way it's gone now, he's made great progress, which we're all delighted about, and the game's on. Now we need to get on with business and try to put more points on the board on a very emotional day.'
Football's governing bodies are already reviewing the screening processes at clubs and Kean would welcome a more thorough examination of players' hearts.
Rovers had their own scare earlier this season when defender Gael Givet suffered heart palpitations during a match and subsequently underwent a small procedure.
Kean said: 'When players do a medical when they first come to a club, unless there's a problem in the family tree that says you've got heart problems, it's not really looked at in that much detail.
'I think if the FA (Football Association) and each club increase the screening then it can only help.'
Saturday's match will undoubtedly have a different feel to it but for both teams the result will be very important to their chances of avoiding the drop.
Respect: Steve Kean says he gave Bolton the option of postponing the game
Blackburn have boosted their hopes with back-to-back wins over Wolves and Sunderland – and their first two clean sheets of the season – and go into the clash five points above the relegation zone.
But Kean knows they are far from safe yet, particularly after watching fellow strugglers QPR mount a stunning late comeback to beat Liverpool on Wednesday, a result that dropped Bolton back into the bottom three.
'There's lots of football to be played and there'll be twists and turns,' said Kean. 'I was at the game the other night and Liverpool probably thought they had the points then QPR came back and snatched it.
'We've just got to continue with the form we're in. Over the last five games we've managed to pick up 10 points, we've managed to score eight goals, put back-to-back clean sheets together, so we've just got to look after ourselves.'
Givet is Rovers' only doubt after aggravating a slight hamstring problem warming up during Tuesday's win over Sunderland, and Kean may well stick with the same side for a third successive game.
He said: 'The way we're playing at the moment it's difficult for anyone to push their way into the side, and such is the strength of the squad at the moment that Ruben Rochina and Simon Vukcevic have not even managed to get themselves onto the bench.
'That's great from our point of view, not so good from theirs.'