Jarrod Bowen’s form has suffered this season as he seeks a place in England’s 2022 World Cup squad, West Ham boss David Moyes has said.
The 26-year-old, who has four England caps, missed Gareth Southgate’s last 26-man squad for Qatar.
He scored twice in the Premier League from the start of the season until November, before the World Cup break.
“He didn’t perform well in the first half of the season,” Moyes said.
Bowen and West Ham visit League One Derby County on Monday in the FA Cup fourth round and Moyes added: “He hasn’t scored any goals.
“If he had scored three or four goals, he might have been the one going to the World Cup, maybe more than others who came in at the last minute.
“He was so disappointed in himself, disgusted that he didn’t do this. I think it was kind of close to his heart.”
Bowen scored for the first time in the league since October with a brace for the Hammers 2-0 win against Everton earlier this month.
Moyes hopes these goals can give the striker – who netted 18 in all competitions last season – confidence for the rest of the season, starting with the tricky trip to Derby.
“He can score, he can create goals, he’s been a great buy for us and a very good team player,” the Hammers manager of Bowen said.
Derby are fourth in Ligue 1 and on a 19-game unbeaten streak in all competitions.
Manager Paul Warne, who joined the Rams from Rotherham in September, says he doesn’t view the game with a “David-Goliath attitude”.
“I appreciate Derby being a great club, but the gap between League One and the Premier League is quite phenomenal,” he added.
“I don’t think we’re going there with expectations or pressure that, given most of the games we’re playing, we’re outright favourites, it’ll be good.”