City’s Negredo relishes ‘the best moment’

• Spaniard has Sergio Agüero's goal tally in his sights
• Negredo points out that West Ham tie is not yet over

Álvaro Negredo has called for humility from his Manchester City team-mates before the League Cup semi-final, second leg against West Ham United, and admitted he hopes to finish the season as the club's top scorer ahead of Sergio Agüero.

With Manuel Pellegrini's side 6-0 ahead from Wednesday's first leg at the Etihad – where Negredo scored a fabulous left-foot hat-trick – the return appears a formality.

"We have to be humble about the second leg," the Spain international said. "You can never say the tie is over. We're close to Wembley but instead of going to West Ham hoping for a small loss we need to go there and win."

After 15 goals in 15 home games the former Sevilla forward is experiencing what he describes as "a great moment, maybe the best moment" before adding the caveat "but I hope to get better than this".

He said: "I am very happy, it was a good team performance, we played very well. We have a big squad with a lot of confidence and enthusiasm to win things here. Against West Ham we had a lot of intensity and control of the game. We know that if teams want to beat us at home, they have to play really well."

Personally, things look equally promising. "I'm only one goal behind Sergio [Agüero] now so I need to catch him because I know when he comes back [from injury] he will score more goals. My only goal is to grow, to improve as a player. It could be the best season of my career. I'm feeling comfortable, I'm scoring goals and making some assists."

For the moment he is enjoying his attacking partnership with Edin Dzeko. "It's really good but with great players it is easy to play," he added.

"We are always looking for each other, the partnership is working very well. We always look after each other and that's the most important thing. We have a special connection. He speaks a little bit of Spanish, we are able to talk. He's also a very good player."

The Spain international refuses to contemplate the possibility of an all-Manchester League Cup final yet. "Maybe the fans are all thinking about United," said Negredo. "But from my point of view as long as we are in it, I don't mind whether it's them or Sunderland." © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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