Owen Coyle believes the messages of support from around the world are helping Fabrice Muamba in his remarkable recovery from a cardiac arrest.
The Bolton midfielder remains in intensive care in the London Chest Hospital after collapsing during the abandoned FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham but his progress is already much better than had been anticipated.
Bolton returned to action for the first time since the traumatic events at White Hart Lane with an emotional Premier League encounter against local rivals Blackburn at the Reebok Stadium, with the match preceded by further tributes to the 23-year-old.
David Wheater provided yet another get well message to his team-mate with his first-half brace securing a 2-1 victory which lifts the Trotters out of the relegation zone and draws Rovers back towards danger at the foot of the table.
While Coyle welcomed the result and performance from his players, he admitted the thoughts of everyone connected to the Premier League club remain firmly with Muamba and his family during his first steps on the long road to recovery.
"For the football club it is a great ending to the week with three points, but the perfect ending would be Fabrice walking out of that hospital with his big smile and, God willing, that is what will happen. He is getting better, but he has a long way to go," Coyle told Sky Sports.
Source of strength
"In a football context, it was a valuable three points. Our thoughts all the way through were with Fabrice and his family.
"He is improving and, God willing, that improvement continues. He is not only a footballer and a colleague, he is a dear friend and he is an outstanding young man.
"That has been a big player in how people all over the world have been aware of what has happened, and their encouragement and their messages of support has been incredible and has been humbling.
"For Fabrice and his family it has been incredible and they have used that as a real source of strength and energy and I think that has played a huge part in his recovery.
"As much as we trained and the boys all wanted to play, but you never know until you cross that white line. They were all pumped up to do that well for Fabrice and to represent him.
"Once we scored the goal we really kicked on, we made it nervous as we always do, but we scored two goals and could have had four or five. Our two wide players were terrific in crossing the ball.
"We looked a real threat, we had pace, we were incisive and that augurs well for the rest of our football matches."