Jarrod Bowen’s form suffered this season as he chased a place in England’s 2022 World Cup squad, says West Ham boss David Moyes.
The 26-year-old, who has four England caps, missed out on Gareth Southgate’s final 26-man squad for Qatar.
He scored twice in the Premier League from the start of the season to November, before the pause for the World Cup.
“He’s not performed well in the first half of the season,” said Moyes.
Bowen and West Ham visit League One Derby County on Monday in the fourth round of the FA Cup and Moyes added: “He didn’t get goals.
“If he’d got three or four goals he might have been the one going to the World Cup, maybe more so than some others who popped in at the last minute.
“He was so disappointed with himself, gutted that he didn’t do that. I think it was hanging on him a little bit.”
Bowen scored for the first time in the league since October when netting a double in the Hammers’ 2-0 win over Everton earlier this month.
Moyes hopes those goals can give the forward – who got 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 really good team player,” said the Hammers manager of Bowen.
Derby are fourth in League One and on a 19-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Manager Paul Warne, who joined the Rams from Rotherham in September, says he doesn’t view the fixture with a “David-Goliath attitude”.
“I appreciate Derby are a big club, but the gulf between League One and the Premier League is pretty phenomenal,” he added.
“I don’t think we go into it with any expectation or pressure which, considering most games we play we are outright favourites, will be nice.”
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Attempt missed. Tom Barkhuizen (Derby County) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Conor Hourihane.
Max Bird (Derby County) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Michail Antonio (West Ham United).
Offside, West Ham United. Emerson tries a through ball, but Michail Antonio is caught offside.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Max Bird.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Korey Smith.
Foul by Haydon Roberts (Derby County).
Flynn Downes (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, West Ham United. Michail Antonio tries a through ball, but Jarrod Bowen is caught offside.
Attempt missed. James Collins (Derby County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Tom Barkhuizen.
James Collins (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Nayef Aguerd (West Ham United).
James Collins (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Thilo Kehrer (West Ham United).
Attempt missed. Craig Forsyth (Derby County) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Conor Hourihane following a set piece situation.
Tom Barkhuizen (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Ben Johnson (West Ham United).
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match because of an injury Emerson (West Ham United).
Korey Smith (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.