I'm buzzing with my first Europa League goal for West Ham says Bowen
- Credit: PA
Jarrod Bowen was all smiles after his first European goal helped West Ham United maintain their perfect start in the UEFA Europa League.
The Hammers made it three Group H wins out of three with a 3-0 victory over Belgian Cup winners KRC Genk at London Stadium, where Bowen completed the scoring with a superb individual run and finish.
The goal added to Craig Dawson’s header on the stroke of half-time and arrived less than a minute after Issa Diop had headed West Ham’s second from Aaron Cresswell’s free-kick, and David Moyes’ side in total control.
"It's good," Bowen smiled. "I should have had one in the first half. Even the one I scored I probably didn't finish it right but I said before the game I bet I'll score when I scuff it.
"But if you don't shoot you don't score. I'm buzzing with my first Europa League goal.
"It means everything, looking back and playing non-league... I remember scoring my first goal [for Hereford] against Alfreton in 2016/17. Now to score in the Europa League is a dream. I'm loving every minute."
With Michail Antonio being rested, Bowen played up front, with support from Andriy Yarmolenko, Manuel Lanzini and Nikola Vlasic, and he believes he is suited to a centre-forward role with his pace and ability to use both feet, keeping opposition defenders off-balance.
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"Up front I feel like you can run in behind and play in both sides," he confirmed. "You can go down the left and the right or drop off.
"I feel like I'm improving in that position. Being a target man is not my game at all but I think wherever I just love playing.
"My strengths are running in behind. I have a turn of pace so you have to play to your strengths. In the first half Andriy Yarmolenko came into that pocked and left space in behind on the right so I think we got down there a lot. It was just adapting my game to where I was playing."
While Bowen was one of five players to keep their place, the six who came in also did their jobs for the team, as did substitutes Mark Noble and 19-year-old debutant Dan Chesters.
"It's unreal," he continued. "In every competition, if the team changes everyone knows what the standard is and what the manager expects.
"You can see in the performance it was a convincing 3-0 victory but we have a big squad and a whole season ahead. Everyone is ready to play their part."