The Three Lions’ Nations League campaign got off to a bad start in Budapest, where the children of the half-full Puskas Arena celebrated Dominik Szoboszlai’s penalty in a famous 1-0 triumph.
Hungary’s first victory over England in 60 years was deserved, given the pattern of play and contrasting performances on a night when Bowen provided the visitors’ best attacking outlet.
The 25-year-old, who scored 18 goals in all competitions and provided another 13 for West Ham last season, made an encouraging debut and later admitted in the interview area at Puskas Arena “I felt comfortable.
“Of course it’s different from what I’m used to playing. I’ve never played international football before.
“It was about doing what I’ve done this season. Not changing my approach to the game, not changing the way I play, exactly how I’ve played all season and just doing it on a bigger stage. , really.
“Of course it was special to play for your country. It’s just a bit disappointing with the result in terms of mixed emotions about making my debut but losing the game.
“But of course first and foremost my debut for my country…I’m delighted.”
Bowen will surely add to his first cap as England’s frenetic Nations League schedule continues this month.
The Three Lions are now in Munich ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Germany, before facing Italy and Hungary at Molineux.
“It’s a group of winners who aren’t used to losing a lot of games, so of course it’s disappointing, especially since it’s the first game in the group where we wanted to start strong,” said Bowen after the opening of Group A3.
“I think the beauty of this competition is that there are a lot of games to come in a short period of time, so no time to dwell on the result and focus on the next games that we have because that there is still a lot of football to be played.”
Bowen played with purpose and determination on a wet night in the Hungarian capital, battling nerves that hit him as soon as he found out he was leaving on Friday.
“He (Southgate) put my name on a board and I felt sick right away seeing my name up there,” he revealed. “But I was both excited and nervous.
“I think it’s good because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, so it’s good to be nervous and I kind of used those nerves when I came out.
“It helped me settle in, get some touches on the ball and continue what I did for West Ham, I think.”