JOHANNESBURG - “It's a compliment,” Percy Tau responds, with a straight face to the question of what he thinks of Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane’s statement that he should be scoring more goals.
Tau and Mosimane have a close father and son relationship that’s anchored on mutual admiration and not being easily pleased. Tau, just like Mosimane, is hard on himself as he knows the potential and talent at his disposal. The Sundowns attacker has scored just four goals this season. Two of those came in the 4-0 drubbing of Baroka FC on Tuesday at Luca Moripe Stadium. It could have been more had Tau been more clinical.
“It’s a compliment,” Tau said. “That’s how I take his words because it’s something that I also know. When I am told something that I also know, I can’t take it otherwise. It’s like if I hear someone say that I had a good or bad game. I take it as a compliment regardless, because I know what I need to do the next game and I am brutally honest with myself. I know which areas I need to improve (on). No matter how good one gets, there’s always room for improvement.”
Mosimane pushes the 23-year-old who has the potential to be one of the most lethal attackers in South Africa. Tau’s bravery won him admiration in Africa during the Brazilians’ run to the Caf Champions League title. But the work for Tau doesn’t just end with what the club’s technical team instils in him. He also spends extra hours on his own working on his craft, especially free kicks.
“Each and every day is an opportunity to learn here at Sundowns, especially with a coach like the one we have,” Tau said. “He never gets satisfied. He always looks for improvement in everything that we do. I also always seek improvement in everything that I do. I am trying to do my best each and every game. That’s what the fans can expect from me. They can expect someone who always tries to help the team.”
We keep going! 👆 pic.twitter.com/2nJVTlndZP
The Brazilians will look to keep their place at the summit now that they have tasted being No 1. Sundowns take on Golden Arrows on Sunday at Princess Magogo Stadium. The Chloorkop-based side has played three games less than Chippa United, Baroka FC and Orlando Pirates who are tied on 19 points with them. Abafana Bes’thende have troubled Sundowns in the past. The Durban side eliminated Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup in Atteridgeville last season. The clash with Arrows is one of four matches Sundowns will play in nine days. This schedule will test their resolve heading into the Christmas break.
“We will do everything it takes to win because we want to go to the December break on a happy note,” Tau said. “We know that they are a good side and they have given us problems in the past. But we have watched our previous games to see what they have done that made us lose to them. We will give it our best. I just hope that it’s not going to be raining that side. The games coming in thick and fast keeps the mood high in the team, especially with how the results have been like.”