Jarrod Bowen praises West Ham fans before Tottenham game and admits high-flying Hammers share David Moyes’ European dream February 19, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer
Jarrod Bowen admits the West Ham United squad miss playing in front of their home fans as they prepare to welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the London Stadium on Sunday.
The Hammers are flying high this season in fifth place in the Premier League and welcome their London rivals to Stratford in a game you can hear live on talkSPORT from 12pm.
After a disappointing home defeat to Newcastle on the opening day of the season, the Irons have since racked up six wins from their 12 home games and only Liverpool and Manchester United have since left the East End with maximum points.
Sunday’s London derby could see them cement their position in the European places against bitter rivals Spurs, who are currently languishing in ninth position.
Despite claims from talkSPORT journalist Ian Abrahams suggesting the lack of home supporters made for a less toxic environment for the players to perform in, Bowen told talkSPORT the vociferous home fans are always missed.
“It’s difficult with no fans,” Bowen told Jim White on talkSPORT. “I remember speaking to Dec [Rice] when West Ham beat Tottenham away in the stadium, 1-0.
“And they said the atmosphere was electric away. So to miss it at home, I’ve obviously never experienced a London derby, but I can imagine the place would be bouncing and rocking on Sunday.
“I think especially the football that we are playing at the moment, we miss them more than anyone and we would love them to be with us week-in, week-out on the pitch.
“But we know that the fanbase that’s here, on the sofas of their houses, are going to be screaming up and down for the successes that we have had this season.
“Hopefully again on Sunday as well, which we know is a big one for the fans.”
Perhaps no game typifies West Ham’s resurgence under David Moyes better than the reverse fixture at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium earlier in the season.
Despite finding themselves three goals down and with just ten minutes of normal time remaining, West Ham summoned the energy and the drive to score three times and claim an incredible point.
And Bowen believes the beneficial extra training sessions the squad committed to during the very first lockdown almost 12 months ago have stood the squad in good stead.
“We’re just resilient,” he added. “When it was the first lockdown and everything was on halt for a couple of months, the condition we came back in – we were so fit.
“We were running everyday, working on different things even though sessions were limited. We were still doing sessions that were beneficial to us, so I think that was one of the main things.
“Now we feel fit as a group, we feel really good going into games. In games we feel like we can out run and out run teams so I think that is a big part in the success that we have had.
“And the quality speaks for itself; like I said last time, I think it was just that final tweak of that strong, resilient mindset of being hard to beat and then also being a massive threat when we go forward as well.”
Having established himself as one of the best managers in the Premier League during an 11-year stint at Everton, Moyes saw his legacy tainted with tumultuous stints at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland.
Although background issues blighted those spells, the Scot believed in his abilities and showcased his tactical nous as he steered the Hammers away from the relegation places in 2018.
When successor Manuel Pellegrini was relieved of his duties just 18 months later, Moyes is now slowly but surely mounting an assault on the European spots this season. Signings like Bowen, Tomas Soucek, Vladimir Coufal and Said Benrahma have undoubtedly underlined his ability to spot a player.
With just 14 games remaining before the conclusion of one of the most bizarre seasons in Premier League history, Bowen insists the Hammers are happy to continue flying under the radar in their hunt for success.
He concluded: “We know what the manager wants, we have all bought into his philosophy of wanting European football.
“Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of football still to be played from now until the end of the season, but if we can keep winning games and going under the radar a bit then it is probably kind of good for us.
“People probably don’t expect us to be up and around it, so to keep winning each week and keep sniffing around the top six, top five areas is great for us.
“I think the manager said the other day, when it gets to single digits in games, we will start to be looking more and more towards those European places.
But right now, it is about winning as many games as we can and keep the performance levels high.”