Erik ten Hag explains decision to start Anthony Martial against Nottingham Forest on landmark appearance for striker | The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED manager Erik ten Hag decided to start Anthony Martial against Nottingham Forest after "building him very carefully".

Martial has been plagued by injury in the last few years and just came back from a hamstring issue he suffered late last season.

The striker seemed certain to play second fiddle to summer signing Rasmus Hojlund, who was left out of the squad due to fitness issues, but it seems like Ten Hag still has faith in him.

Thus, the Dutch tactician started Martial in the Premier League match against Forest at Old Trafford.

And the 53-year-old head coach was convinced the 27-year-old is ready for action after a successful pre-season.

Ten Hag said: "We built him very carefully throughout the whole pre-season.

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"So he did a lot of work, individual, the last weeks with the team and he's ready to play."

Martial looked destined for the sidelines once the Premier League season kicked off.

The France international was left on the bench during United's premiere match against Wolves earlier this month.

But the ex-Monaco star came on as a second-half substitute at Tottenham a few days later.

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Martial fell out of favour at Old Trafford last year when he was sent out on loan to Sevilla.

However, Ten Hag gave him a second chance last season and he amassed a total of nine goals and three assists in 29 appearances.

However, that wasn't enough to establish him as Cristiano Ronaldo's successor in United's No9 position.

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