West Ham boss David Moyes insists he has not taken a gamble in refusing to sign another striker as back-up to Michail Antonio.
Hammers fans were left frustrated after the club failed to bring in attacking reinforcements for the third transfer window running.
That leaves Antonio as their only recognised senior striker as West Ham attempt to maintain their push for the top four and go further in the Europa League.
An injury to the 31-year-old could derail another promising season, but Moyes is sticking to his guns about not bringing in another forward for the sake of it.
“There was no intention of taking any risk, I wouldn’t use the word risk because we have other people who can play there,” he said.
“We were always trying to add to what we thought we could do. It would be hard to get better than Jarrod Bowen if we’re talking about another striker.
“I didn’t just want back-up, I wanted real competition. I could have easily gone out and bought back-up. Easily.
“I wanted people who were actually going to take other people’s jerseys and challenge them.”
With Antonio not due back from international duty with Jamaica until Friday morning – much to Moyes’ annoyance – winger Bowen is set to fill in up front at Kidderminster in the FA Cup in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.
“Mich arrives back today from Jamaica which is not particularly good and realistically it’s a terrible situation,” said Moyes.
“Players are away at the African Nations who clubs have not got, but this was an international week and we had Mich away and we get him back around 11 o’clock, hopefully.”
Club captain Mark Noble is also set to feature at non-league Kiddy, the lowest-ranked team left in the competition.
Bowen wants to give the long-serving midfielder the perfect send-off by seeing him lift the club’s first trophy in 42 years.
“From the day I signed he made me feel welcome, talking to me about different areas to live, asking about me and my family,” Bowen told the PA news agency.
“He’s everything that this club is. Ask anyone and it’s Mark Noble. He’s been great, so to send him off by seeing him lift that silverware would put a smile on everyone’s face.
“Of course people want giant killing in the FA Cup. So as a group of players the challenge we’ve got is going to be difficult, no doubt about it.
“We want to qualify for the next round and that’s our focus. They will be right up for it, for sure, so we want to go there, no hiccups, win the game and get through to the next round.
“To win a trophy would mean everything. I mean we’ve got a couple of competitions that we have a good chance in. For me as a player I would love to achieve that.”
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