Ten Hag happy to see Martial back
Erik ten Hag is backing Anthony Martial to have a big say in the final stages of Manchester United’s season as the forward gets back to full fitness.
Following a two-month injury lay-off, Martial has made substitute appearances in each of the Reds’ last three games and capped the most recent of those with the match-clinching second goal against Everton on Saturday.With 20 minutes left, the Frenchman tapped home from Marcus Rashford’s cross for his eighth goal in 15 appearances against the Toffees – he’s scored more against them any other opponent.
Rashford was forced off soon afterwards and, while Ten Hag is awaiting an update on his top scorer, Martial’s continuing return to full fitness will be a timely boost with the games coming thick and fast for the Reds.
The boss told Canal+: “We know what he can contribute to this team. Every time he is available, he has a big impact on the games.
“He can score goals. He is clinical and, also, he can keep the ball and can make the attacking game better for us.
“He improves the attacking game; also out of possession, he is important for us because he is clever. He knows how to start the pressure. So we are happy he is back.”
In his post-match press conference, Ten Hag was asked about the forward’s goalscoring record, with his seven goals so far this term coming in the Europa League, EFL Cup and Premier League.
“I’m not worried that Martial will not score,” he told reporters. “You are really emphasising the Premier League, but I think Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest in the cup are also Premier League opponents.
“In the cup they are even more on the front foot and more ambitious to win the games because that is often the path to quick success. It’s often that those games are even more intense.
“But yeah, when he’s fit he’ll contribute, no doubt – we have seen it already when he is on the pitch. He makes a difference to the team – see the Man City and Liverpool games. Now we have to keep him fit and he has to keep himself fit and then he will contribute and he can be clinical.”
Ten Hag added on MUTV: "We have to be careful because we have so games to play and also the short notice, so he needs the recovery every time.
“Then he can go forward and be fit and fresh in the game, which is what you need to score the goals but also do the work in and out of possession.”
Watch Erik's post-Everton press conference
Press conference | Erik is asked about Rashford's injury, Fernandes's position + top four after the win over Everton...