Baxter: Tau has room to grow

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The Mamelodi Sundowns man played a starring role as the lone striker in the impressive 3-1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying win over Burkina Faso on Saturday.

Tau lead the attack in what was his first competitive start for the national team, filling the gap left by Tokelo Rantie’s omission, and managed a goal and an assist at the FNB Stadium.

His showing earned him a man-of-the-match award, and possibly showed his potential to be the answer to Bafana’s scoring problems.

However, Baxter refused to let his emotions get the better of him, and instead protected the 23-year-old rather than casting him directly in the spotlight.

“I think that Rantie had done a good job [in recent years]. His last performance was very poor, he wasn’t playing enough [at club level] so Percy became a natural choice,” explained Baxter.

“I think Percy is a talented player, he’s certainly going to grow and has more to come. But at the same time I’m a bit loathed to start – on the back of one performance – bring Percy up onto a pedestal.

“He’s got a lot of work to do, he’s a great lad, he wants to learn and I think he will get better. I’m delighted to have him in my squad and I’m sure he’ll be an asset for South Africa going forward.

“Again, I don’t want to [praise him too much] on the back of one performance, because I think we tend to do that a little too much – not you [media], but we in football do that too much.”

The British tactician added: “He’s on the right track. When I was younger someone said to me, ‘you’re on the right track son, but keep going otherwise you’ll get hit by a train.’ That’s about where Percy is now – keep going Percy!”

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