Jarrod Bowen: I was happy to get out on the pitch again and get the West Ham shirt on
Jarrod Bowen is hungry for more after making his belated West Ham United debut at Manchester City on Wednesday.
Bowen appeared for the first time off the substitutes’ bench in the Irons’ 2-0 Premier League defeat at Etihad Stadium, nearly three weeks after his Deadline Day transfer from Hull City.
The 23-year-old feels fit and in form and is eager to play his part in helping the Hammers avoid relegation over the closing 12 games of the season.
I was happy to get out on the pitch again and get the West Ham shirt on and I’m just hoping for more appearances
“My debut has been longer coming than I thought it was going to be, obviously, with the Manchester City game being called off and especially with it being my first involvement, I wanted to get going straight away,” he told West Ham TV. “I had a little bit of a wait, so I was happy to get out on the pitch again and get the West Ham shirt on and I’m just hoping for more appearances.
“I think it was important, especially coming into a game like this just to have my first couple of touches and I got that. But they’re a very good side, there is no denying that, so we just move onto the next game now.”
Wednesday’s involvement was not his first in the Premier League, as he appeared in the top-flight seven times for Hull as a teenager in 2015/16, but Bowen feels he is a better, more complete player than he was four years ago.
Since then, the Herefordshire-born forward has scored more than 50 Championship goals and become one of the most-feared young players in English football. Now he wants to bring that form back to the Premier League.
“I think it was a bit different back then,” he confirmed. “I’ve matured as a player and I’m a few years older for one. I’m coming into it in my best form as well, so I’m just hoping that I get more chances and, when I am out there on the pitch, I have got to take it by the scruff of the neck and show my ability.”
Reflecting on Wednesday’s defeat, Bowen felt West Ham conceded goals at vital times in the game and could have got something from it, despite Manchester City dominating possession and territory for long periods.
“I think the most annoying thing was their first goal came from a set play, as you don’t expect that from a City team, so to speak, so I think that goal just before half-time set us back,” he observed. “Their second goal was a good bit of play and we felt like we were coming back into the game at 1-0 and they scored and it killed our momentum a little bit.
“The work-rate was there but, at the end of the day, it’s Man City and they’re a very good side.
“I think the gaffer was saying after the game as he couldn’t fault the work-rate as everyone puts in 100 per cent in each game and he can see that. It’s just the quality to win football games now and those fine margins that when chances come, we’ve got to take them and be more ruthless and when we play against those teams around us, we’ve got to be picking up three points against them.”
Next up for the Hammers, who remain 18th in the table, is a trip to leaders Liverpool, before taking on six teams in the bottom half in their final eleven fixtures.
Bowen concluded: “There is a tough run of games but the pressure is not on us at Anfield as no-one expects us to get anything from the game, so we can use that to our advantage before going into the final run when we play a lot of teams in the bottom half and we expect to pick up points and get ourselves out of this position.”