Kevin McKernan believes Down's recent run of narrow wins is helping to build confidence.
Since losing to Laois in the opening round, the Mourne County have won five games in-a-row - three by last-gasp scores - to leave themselves on the cusp of promotion to Division 2 of the Allianz Football League ahead of today's final round against neighbours Louth.
"We always knew that this division was going to be really tight," the experienced Burren clubman said in the Irish News.
“We’ve given ourselves and really good opportunity but when it comes down to the last few games it’s like championship football and thankfully this team is starting to learn to win and learn to see games out and that is giving a lot of confidence to boys to trust each other and play to the system that we want.
“This run started on a dire day down in Sligo. Every game has thrown things at us, we’ve had men sent off and difficult conditions when you’ve had to adapt your game and the boys have shown the quality to do that.”