Jarrod Bowen: We've started where we want to be
It was as if they had never been away.
Twelve weeks after defeating Southampton 3-0 to close out the 2020/21 season, West Ham United's attacking force was on full display again at Newcastle United as they began the new campaign in style.
Twice the Hammers trailed in the opening period, but they were undeterred and came roaring back in the second half to eventually triumph 4-2 and make the perfect start.
Jarrod Bowen was thrilled with the three-point haul, saying his team's performance going forward was exactly what they were searching for.
"I think we’ve started where we want to be and it shows what we’re about," the No20 explained. "To come away and score four goals and start with three points is fantastic.
"Last season we started with a defeat against Newcastle, so it’s great to be at the top straight away rather than having to catch up."
We fell behind but we stuck in there, and we knew with the attack we had we’d be able to put our chances away
With a crowd of over 50,000 inside St James' Park - including 3,000 members of the Claret & Blue Army who made themselves heard throughout - Bowen was happy with how his team dealt with the occasion and made sure it would be their fans who would go home happy.
"Any victory we’re buzzing with," he continued. "We knew it would be totally different with the atmosphere and we knew they’d have the crowd behind them. We fell behind but we stuck in there, and we knew with the attack we had we’d be able to put our chances away.
"Look to what it means to the fans - it’s great to have them back."
Bowen was also able to look back on the incident that led to the visitors' first goal with a smile, after Aaron Cresswell's strike was initially ruled out for an offside flag against the former Hull City forward.
However, he knew the VAR decision would go in his team's favour so was never worried.
"I said to the ref that I knew it was in before I got there," he added. "It was just my reaction that it had bounced over the line and I just kicked it. When they gave offside, I said it’s already in and they need to check it. Luckily I didn’t make us not score a goal, so I was buzzing that it was in."