JOHANNESBURG - His quality and class on the field makes it very difficult for his opponents to read him or track his movements on and off the ball each time he presses forward.
And that’s because, in his mind, Percy Tau is always at war with his body - demanding of it to be sharper than it was the last time he was in possession. Yes, that’s right, the secret behind young Tau’s rise in his fine form, has always been to push himself to be better in each match, in each moment.
It is the very same hunger that the Mamelodi Sundowns attacking midfielder displayed when Stuart Baxter opted to start with him in a must win 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier clash against Burkina Faso earlier this month.
Tau manifested that hunger with class, proving that he too could compete with the best-of-the-best on the continent in Bafana’s fight to qualify for Russia next year.
Afterwards Baxter pleaded with the lad from Witbank that hemust continue with his obsession of always wanting to get better.
In his talk with Independent Media, Tau expressed his pleasure with the progress he has made, adding that he hopes to continue building on his current form - as the Bafana coach had insisted.
“I’m happy with the progress I have made over the years and I am also grateful to be part of a successful team, which is Sundowns, as well,” Tau said. “The hunger that you see in my play comes from a time when I was a kid who took his football very seriously and tried to develop and win as much as he could.
"And that’s where it comes from. There’s a lot I feel I need to achieve though. I’m grateful to have won what I have now. However, it’s something that I can continue to build on.
“In every match I get to play,” Tau continued, “I always try to focus on that game and that game alone. And by doing that, I always try to match or surpass my previous performance. I’m always looking to get better. I have to keep on winning.”
In their midweek league match against Kaizer Chiefs, which the Brazilians lost 2-1, Tau was given less breathing space when on the ball. And that’s because Steve Komphela was well aware that failure to do that, would see his team under increasing pressure.
However, going into the second period of that match, Tau swapped roles with Khama Billiat, who can play any position in the attacking third, and moved to the right where he had more freedom to break inside the field in a effort to create more scoring opportunities for his side.
That decision worked out well for Sundowns as the attacking midfielder forced a penalty out of Eric Mathoho, who committed a foul inside the 18-yard area with a sliding tackle. It resulted in Themba Zwane scoring the goal that led to a nervy finish for Chiefs, who only just held on to the win.
Going into Saturday's Absa Premiership match against AmaZulu at Lucas Moripe Stadium (kick-off 8.15pm), Tau revealed that it was crucial for his side not to underestimate their opponents, as doing so, might see them losing the encounter.
“It’s going to be difficult but we’ll prepare as much as we can to try and get the desired result out of it," said Tau. “We’ve got their respect and they also come into the scene having managed to produce a few decent results (against league defending champions Bidvest Wits and Free State Stars) and we’ll try to give it our best ... but as you know a win is never guaranteed.”