Negredo hitting the sweet spot
Published 09/01/2014 | 15:47
Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo feels he is in the best form of his career as the goals continue to flow for a side brimming with confidence.
City smashed in another six, with Negredo helping himself to a hat-trick, as they thrashed West Ham in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final at the Etihad Stadium.
The 6-0 win took City's goal tally for the season to 92 and Negredo increased his to 18, continuing his fine start at the club since his £20million move from Sevilla.
The Spaniard said: "I'm in a great moment and I hope to have better than this but, yes, my feelings and my game make me think this could be the best moment.
"Well we have a big squad and the team has a lot of confidence to win things here.
"A game like this requires a lot of intensity and control of the game. But we know that if they want to beat us at home, the other team has to play really well."
City were at their devastating best as they piled on the misery for the struggling Hammers.
Negredo opened the scoring with a ferocious volley from a brilliant Yaya Toure pass after 12 minutes and doubled the lead with another powerful finish.
Toure charged through poor defending for the third and Negredo completed his treble early in the second half before Edin Dzeko - who appeared to have lost count of the score in a later TV interview - joined in by netting two.
Negredo has been an instant hit at City and formed an effective partnership with the prolific Sergio Aguero in the opening months of the season.
With Aguero out injured for the past month, he has been playing in tandem with Dzeko and that arrangement is starting to look similarly productive.
"It's been really good," the 28-year-old said. "With great players it is very easy to play; we are always looking for each other.
"The partnership is working very well. He gave me a great assist and we always look after each other, and that's the important thing and it is best for the team, whoever plays."
With a trip to Wembley for the final now all but guaranteed, City's season continues to take shape.
Although they have the distraction of an FA Cup third-round replay against Blackburn next week, Manuel Pellegrini's men are well placed in all four competitions.
Attention switches back to the Barclays Premier League this weekend and a trip to Newcastle, who they beat 4-0 at the Etihad in their opening game.
Midfielder Javi Garcia expects confidence and work-rate to be maintained.
He said: "It was an important victory for us. Now I think the next game in their stadium will be a bit easier.
"I think this season we can win a lot of trophies but we have to keep working like this.
"I think the first thing the boss wanted when he came here was to have a bigger squad. He has so many players for all competitions.
"The most important thing for us is that the players keep working, because we have so many games. This is the way we have to keep going."