Pep Guardiola deserves credit for bringing the best out of Sergio Aguero despite uncertainty over his Manchester City future, David Moyes has said.
The Argentina striker admitted this week that he has had no assurances over his long-term future, however, with Guardiola having dropped him from the starting line-up in favour of Gabriel Jesus last month, only for the Brazilian to suffer a broken foot.
But Moyes, whose Sunderland side host City in the Premier League on Sunday, says it is a concern for his own plans that Aguero has recaptured his form.
"You'd have to give the manager credit for doing what he's done to get the best out of the players," he told a media conference on Friday. "Whoever he plays with, Aguero is a threat. It would be good if he wasn't playing, that's for sure.
"Like all managers, there's a bit of a spell where he maybe found things tougher but he's managed some of the biggest clubs in the world."
Sunderland head into the match three points adrift of safety at the bottom of the Premier League, but Moyes is hoping to spring a surprise on Guardiola and earn a result to reignite their survival hopes.
"You've got to go in with two or three different game plans," he said. "They can play different systems and several different players. We did some good things last week [in the 2-0 loss at Everton] and we have to try to build on it.
"It's another game for us to try to get something from it. They've got top players but we need to do everything we can to nullify them.
"They've got a busy programme and that in itself could be a negative for them. We've got to hope that, in one of these games, they slip up. Let's hope it's ours.
"We've told everyone near enough from day one what we thought the situation was. We're fighting with a few teams we certainly thought we would be.
"We're trying to build things and first and foremost stay in the Premier League. The players are doing everything they can. If they keep doing that, it'll give us a great chance."