Bowen says England players shutting out negativity over limp displays



Sat, 22 Jun 2024 - 06:47 GMT


Sat, 22 Jun 2024 - 06:47 GMT

England's Jarrod Bowen after the press conference REUTERS/John Sibley

England's Jarrod Bowen after the press conference REUTERS/John Sibley

(Reuters) - While England have been pummelled by criticism for their inauspicious start to Euro 2024, forward Jarrod Bowen said the negativity has not permeated into camp where the mood is positive ahead of their final group stage match against Slovenia on Tuesday.


England still top Group C on four points and can finish no lower than third, but their sloppy and timid play so far has dampened optimism around one of the tournament favourites.


"Mood is really high," Bowen told reporters on Saturday. "You try not to get involved in the outside world because what we've got is a real tight group, a real togetherness.


"It's probably the standards that we've set that (the players, fans and pundits are disappointed) it's not two wins, but it's still four points, we're still top of the group and we're still in control of our own destiny."


Manager Gareth Southgate had said his players care "too much" while midfielder Declan Rice thought his team mates were feeling pressure to deliver the nation's first major trophy in 58 years.


"It's difficult to say 'care too much' because you're playing for your country at a tournament, of course you want to put everything into the game," Bowen said. "It's important to find that balance - you want to be hyped up for the game, but not too much where your emotions can kind of boil over. And then not the other end of the spectrum where you're too calm and too chilled on the pitch."


The 27-year-old, who scored 20 goals across all competitions this past season for West Ham United, is one of a dozen players in the England squad with no previous major tournament experience.


England do not have a sports psychologist with them in camp, however Bowen said there are plenty of experienced players to go to for guidance.


"But we've been players playing at the highest level, so we know what it takes to win, and we really want to achieve something," he said.


Bowen was a second-half substitute in both group games and made an immediate impact against Serbia, sending in a cross for a Harry Kane shot that the keeper pushed over the bar.


Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Bowen described how his dad Sam, his brother and two of his friends are travelling back and forth by camper van from their farm in Hereford, western England, for each game.


"(My dad) just parks it up somewhere. I said to take the England flags down just in case the windows get put through if the wrong fans come across it," Bowen said with a laugh.


England play Slovenia, who have two points, at Cologne Stadium on Tuesday.



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