The 20-year-old winger found the back of the net twice in three games in the Algarve, opening his pre-season account with a fine individual goal to secure a 2-1 win over League One outfit Bristol Rovers, before producing an even better strike to claim the scalp of Benfica as Leonid Slutsky’s side ended the trip on an impressive note with victory over the reigning Portuguese champions.
Speaking after the game at the Estadio Algarve on Saturday night, Bowen said: “Obviously I was delighted to get on the scoresheet in two of the three games in Portugal.
“I’m sure it will have done my chances no harm, but my only focus now is to continue to work hard in the remainder of pre-season. All you can do is work hard in training, play well and try to contribute something to the team in games and see what happens from there.”
Bowen’s moment of brilliance against Benfica was a goal worthy of winning a game of more importance than a pre-season friendly. Bursting into the box after winning possession himself just before the hour mark, the youngster curled a precise finish into the top corner to score the only goal of the game.
“I managed to get half a yard inside the box, and my only thought was to make sure I got the ball on target,” said the youngster when describing his memorable strike.
“Thankfully I managed to do that and get it right in the top corner. It always nice to score in pre-season ahead of a new campaign, and it felt like quite a special goal on the night.
“It was a tough game. They were a very good side, very quick, but we were very good ourselves as well – both with and without the ball – and on the night we got our rewards with a 1-0 win.”
Now back on English soil after 12 days in Portugal, Bowen was quick to declare the Tigers’ training camp a success.
“It was a good trip,” he added. “Everyone has enjoyed it – training and the games. Obviously it was the first time the squad went away with the new manager and it was all about getting used to his philosophies and how he wants the team to play.
“Everyone in the group is buying into that and I think that came across in the friendlies in Portugal – especially the last two against Bristol Rovers and Benfica. I think the only way is up now for all of us.”