Percy Tau of Mamelodi Sundowns during the recent Absa Premiership match against AmaZulu in Umlazi, Durban.Photo: BackpagePix
Percy is coach Pitso Mosimane’s “son” in more ways than one as the Mamelodi Sundowns pair share a lot of characteristics that keep their bond strong.

Tau and Mosimane are constantly thriving to be better than they were yesterday, fuelled by a high work rate.

Mosimane and his technical team can be found exchanging e-mails late into the night and in the early hours of the morning, dissecting their opponents and seeking ways to improve the Brazilians.

Tau spends more time on the pitch than any Sundowns player. While most of his teammates were enjoying their day off on Thursday, Tau was hard at work in the gym.

“A lot of the coach’s qualities rub off on the players,” Tau said.

“We get our winning mentality from him. He is a winner. He keeps us grounded and on our toes because he makes us feel like we have done nothing.

“If we have won a game, he will say that there are a few things that you need to improve on, I am not happy. I am happy that we won but that wasn’t my team.

“We never feel that we have done enough to please him or to make him happy. He would come back from his place and say: ‘Nah guys, I am not happy’.

“It’s good that he demands a lot from us. We try to be on the same wavelength as him. We enjoy making memories and making history.”

And Sundowns have a chance to make history tomorrow.

A win over Rayon Sports of Rwanda at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria will see the Brazilians become the first South African team to reach the group stage of the Caf Champions League for three successive years.

“We want to do better than what we did last season,” Tau said. “We were eliminated on penalties (in the quarter-finals by Wydad Casablanca). And we don’t want to repeat the same mistakes.

“The biggest lesson we learned from last season is to make the most of our home ground like we did when we won it (in 2016).

“We are now used to playing in the Champions League and being involved in matches that are on the edge. I am confident that we will do well.”

Mosimane will be back in the technical area after missing the 2-1 win over EC Bees in the Nedbank Cup on Tuesday as he was in Morocco doing the inaugural Caf Pro Licence Course.

In his absence, Manqoba Mngqithi led the team and cut a calm figure on the bench, unlike the animated Mosimane who lives every kick.

“He is never satisfied,” Tau said of coach 'Jingles'.

“That works well for the team that we have, because the guys are hungry for success. We want to be able to say in the next 10 years that we won this and that cup and we broke this and that record. We want to be talked about for years to come.”

The 23-year-old forward could retire tomorrow and he would boast a prize that few South African footballers have  a Champions League winner’s medal.

Mosimane has tipped him to be crowned the Footballer of the Year in a season where the Tau-mania is at fever pitch.

It takes special skills to not let that attention go into your head.

“I grew up with coaches who were tough on me so I am not easily satisfied,” Tau said.

“I have always had the capacity to take their demands and the information they share with me to do well but also look at my game to see things that I can improve on.

“I always see room for improvement in my game.”

Saturday Star

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