Wednesday 20 Oct
Updated Wednesday 20 Oct 06:30
Interviews

West Ham United's Jarrod Bowen insists 'I'm not the finished article'

Jarrod Bowen

 

Jarrod Bowen's relentless determination has already carried him from non-league football to the Premier League and UEFA Europa League - but he insists his journey is far from over.

The 24-year-old has performed superbly so far this season, helping West Ham United continue their momentum after securing a top-six finish and European qualification last term.

While the goals and assists are not yet flowing as readily as Bowen would have liked, the forward has nevertheless contributed hugely with his direct running, work-rate and willingness to put the team first.

As West Ham prepare to return to Europa League action at home to Belgian club RKC Genk on Thursday and continue a run of seven matches in 22 days in three different competitions, the No20 spoke to BBC London about his belief in manager David Moyes' methods, his own ability and his eagerness to reward the Claret and Blue Army for their loyal support with success at home and abroad.

 

It has been relentless, so it's nice to have the recent international break when you can switch off for a few days.

Obviously, you're still coming into training every day and having a laugh with everyone. We've had a lot of games in the Carabao Cup, the Europa League and the Premier League is as intense as every, but that's what you want because you want to progress in every competition, so it's been good. But, like I said, it's nice to have a few days to at least switch off, as well.

When you're winning and you get that momentum, you don't really want to stop, but unfortunately we lost the last game before the break at home to Brentford, so it probably came at a good time for us to look back on the games that we've had since the start of the season. It was time to reflect and have a look at what we've done and also to switch off.

 

The manager believes in making us hard to beat and defensively solid and that's the first thing that we look at - not giving up easy goals because we know we can score goals with the attacking play we can produce.

Since the manager has come in, it's been about resolute defending and defending from one to eleven, starting from the centre-forward and then all the way back and being hard to beat.

The two games I can remember us losing to Man United and Brentford were both to really late goals, which felt like a sucker punch, but we went to Leeds and scored the winner in the last minute. That's just the way football goes.

 

We know we can win away from home and that's what we're about now. We're full of confidence going into every game, even against the bigger teams.

Against Man United away in the Carabao Cup in front of a full Old Trafford, we went there and won 1-0 and it was all about defending and getting a clean sheet, which not many teams come away with.

It's all going well so far for us. It's still early on in the season and there is still a long way to go, but we're looking forward to getting go again.

 

Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen in training at Rush Green

 

Michail Antonio is just unbelievable.

He sometimes talks about playing right-back and not up front earlier in his career and he's come in now and it looks like he's played up front for his whole career, with the goals he's scored and the way he works for the team.

He's a real credit to himself and he's a joy to play alongside.

 

For me, it's about having no fear about anything.

I've had setbacks in my career that have probably shaped me so that when things don't go right or I have new challenges in front of me, I just kind of face them and believe in myself.

That's the thing for me. I don't worry about anything and I just believe in my ability to perform in the Premier League.

There was always going to be a lot of question marks about someone coming into the Championship, having not played much in the Premier League, but the way to stop that talking is to put in performances on the pitch and show that I belong in the Premier League.

I have done that so far and there is still a lot of improvement in me. I'm not the finished article yet and I feel I'm improving game by game and am performing better this season than I did last season, so constantly improving is the key for me.

 

Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma celebrate victory against Rapid Vienna

 

The Rapid Vienna game was unreal.

We went for a little walk around the pitch a few hours before kick-off with different things and then we came out under the lights and all the fans were there, it was massive for them as well.

They had missed out on football for a year and a half, so to give them Europa League football under the lights was massive for them and massive for us as players.

We want to be playing in these European competitions and you probably heard the atmosphere, with singing from the first minute until the last.

We are performing well in Europe and we want to have a good run in that and give the fans that as well, so we're in good stead at the minute to do so.

 

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