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Mancini demands more medical screening for players

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has demanded twice yearly medical screenings for Premier League players after admitting he was worried not enough is being done to protect them.

There has been no further update on the condition of Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba since last night, when it was confirmed the 23-year-old was able to answer questions and speak in both French and English.

It represents a dramatic improvement for Muamba, whose heart stopped for two hours following his collapse during the first half of his side's FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham on Saturday evening.

Mancini was relieved at the latest bulletin but cannot understand how the Premier League has allowed a situation that puts the safety of players at risk.

“I was really worried on Sunday,” the Italian said. “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.”

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur players underwent heart tests yesterday and were offered “whatever support they need” to cope with the trauma of seeing Muamba suffer a cardiac arrest in the middle of their FA Cup tie against Bolton Wanderers.

Jermain Defoe was among the players to be visibly shaken by what they saw when Bolton Wanderers’ former England U21 midfielder collapsed. But Redknapp said yesterday that Defoe was by no means alone in being moved by the scenes.

Indeed, with Tottenham calling in counsellors for their players, there are signs that for some there may be a delayed psychological impact.

Redknapp said: “What happened on Saturday to Fabrice was a shock to everyone. It is possible that the effects of this could hit some quicker than others and despite these difficult circumstances we all have to pull together and carry on with our season.”