The Hammers, who took the lead through Tomas Soucek on Saturday before the visitors came back to win 3-1, should have gone in at half-time with far more than a one-goal advantage.
Bowen, Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals all missed good opportunities to add to their lead before United came roaring back. David Moyes‘s side are the sixth worst in the Premier League when it comes to big chances taken in front of goal – something Bowen knows must be addressed.
“Especially in the first half, I think we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit by not taking the chances that we had and that we created,” he said.
“Especially against a top team like Manchester United, you can’t miss those chances, and then they brought on world-class players in a world-class team, and they make a difference and they punish you.
“It’s a lesson for us to learn. No one misses on purpose but it’s just about learning to take our chances and stay on top of the game and put the game to bed when we should have.
“3-1 was really harsh on us, but with that little 10-minute spell they had where they were clinical with their chances, we need to look at that and take our chances when they come.”
Moyes was left fuming when play was allowed to continue in the build up to Manchester United’s equaliser, with the ball appearing to have veered out of play after Dean Henderson’s long pass forward.
The Hammers boss confronted the officials afterwards but is not expected to contact the Premier League for an explanation having done so to no avail on a number of occasions last season.