Despite their league woes, Derry assistant manager Brian McGuckin is confident they 'won't be too far away' when they square up to Tyrone in the Ulster SFC at Celtic Park on Sunday, May 28.
The Oak Leafers suffered relegation to Division 3 but McGuckin is bullish about their prospects against his native county.
"Obviously there is going to be a feeling of déjà vu in relation to our game against Tyrone as we met in the Championship last year as well but I believe that we will be ready for them this time," he told The Belfast Telegraph.
"I think that if we get the team out that we have in mind, and assuming we play to our potential, then we won't be too far away.
"We know that Mickey Harte loves to win every match in which his side is involved, but you can take it that even though his side lost their last three games in the league this will not be weighing too heavily on his mind.
"Their sole focus this year, and I have no doubt about this, will be to try and retain the Ulster title and give the All-Ireland a real rattle.
"Irrespective of recent results, I believe Tyrone are on a journey in the hope that it will take them to a point where they will still be playing Championship football in August and September."