Down boss Paddy Tally says his team are showing “greater hunger and desire” and is optimistic over getting a run in the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers this summer.
The Mourne men overcame Tipperary at the weekend and will now welcome Mayo to Newry on Saturday week for a place in Round 3 of the backdoor.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph this week, Tally branded the National League champions as “a massive challenge” for his charges.
"I think the team is currently showing a greater hunger and desire. Everyone is playing their part and the substitutes we have been introducing have certainly been doing their bit," he stated.
"Mayo will be a massive challenge for us but we will be ready for them. They won the league title and fair play to them but we see them as a major scalp to be captured. We want to make further progress."
He added: "I honestly feel this Down side can go somewhere in the qualifiers. Maybe getting a win over Tipperary is nothing special to write home about but it has fuelled self-belief and that's important.
"I think the team will bring commitment and fire to the table on Saturday week. The boys know that if they were to win this one it would go some distance towards the restoration of real credibility. Let's just say that we will be up for the challenge."
Make sure to visit the hoganstand.com match tracker this weekend for live coverage from Leinster and Munster SHC round 5 and the Connacht SFC final between Galway and Roscommon.Tweet