Football - Negredo: I want to be even better

Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo believes he could be enjoying the best form of his career but is convinced he can still get better.

PA Sport Report

Negredo's fine start to life at City continued as he netted a hat-trick in the 6-0 rout of West Ham in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final at the Etihad Stadium.

The treble took the Spain international's tally since his B£20million move from Sevilla last summer to 18. The 28-year-old has been particularly effective in home games, having now hit 15 in 15 at Eastlands.

He said: "I am in a great moment but I hope to get better than this.

"My feelings and my game make me think this could be the best moment, we just have to wait (on that), but I'm feeling comfortable.

"I score a lot of goals and hopefully I can make some assists.

"Hopefully I can continue like this for the rest of my career.

"The only goal is to grow, to improve as a player and become better."

Negredo, nicknamed 'The Beast', formed a formidable partnership with the prolific Sergio Aguero in the opening months of the season.

With Aguero having been injured for the past month, Negredo has continued to lead the line in partnership with Edin Dzeko.

He is now just one goal behind Aguero's total for the season and with the Argentinian due back in action this month, he is looking forward to duelling for top scorer's rights.

Negredo said: "I need to get more and catch him up because I know when he comes back he will score more goals!"

Negredo was brought in by City alongside Stevan Jovetic as they reshaped their attacking resources after offloading Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez.

He has been an immediate hit at the club and has justified his decision to move to England.

That move might have come sooner had a deal with Everton materialised last January but Negredo claims that was never a realistic option.

The Toffees, then managed by current Manchester United boss David Moyes, were linked with a move for the forward but reportedly could not match Sevilla's valuation.

Negredo said: "There were some rumours but I just wanted to finish the season with Sevilla.

"I wanted to wait until it got to the summer before I started looking at other options.

"I never really considered the possibility of moving in January."

Negredo's hat-trick was supplemented by a double from Dzeko and another strike from Yaya Toure.

And he is pleased how his understanding with Dzeko, who has scored 12 this season, is developing.

Negredo said: "It's really good but with great players it is easy to play.

"We are always looking for each other, the partnership is working very well.

"We have a special connection. He speaks a little bit of Spanish, we are able to talk.

"He's also a very good player and he had a really good game too."

City will need to complete the formalities of the second leg at Upton Park but they could probably now start planning for the final at Wembley.

There they could come up against arch-rivals Manchester United in what would be an eagerly-anticipated clash.

Negredo said: "We are close to Wembley but we have to be humble about the second leg. You can never say it's over.

"Instead of going there just hoping for a small loss, we need to go there and win.

"At the moment, we just want to get to the final. Maybe the fans are all thinking about United but, from my point of view, as long as we are in it I don't mind."

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