Chris Martin: Steve McClaren surprised by Derby striker's Fulham loan

Chris Martin (left)
Chris Martin (left) joined Derby County in 2013 after a loan spell

Derby County manager Steve McClaren is surprised that Chris Martin was allowed to join Fulham on a season-long loan.

The striker scored 43 goals in less than two seasons during McClaren's first spell in charge of the Rams.

But under Nigel Pearson the 28-year-old failed to earn a regular place and joined Fulham in August, where he has scored six goals in 16 games.

When asked if he felt letting Martin go was strange, McClaren told BBC Radio Derby he "thought it was at the time".

The former England boss added: "I wasn't the manager and managers have to make decisions."

The terms of the loan mean Scotland international Martin, who has a Derby contract until the summer of 2018, cannot feature against the Rams when the teams meet on Saturday.

"He doesn't play - thank goodness," McClaren said. "He is a goalscorer. I have the highest regard for Chris as everybody knows.

"He's doing a good job for Fulham and they are very pleased with him - I know that. We are just monitoring the situation to see what happens."

Derby are fifth in the Championship table, three points ahead of Fulham, who are in 10th place prior to Saturday's match at Craven Cottage.

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