There was no panic in Tyrone ranks after poor NFL start: Frank Burns
WITH no wins after three rounds of NFL ties, the outlook for Tyrone looked bleak, but Frank Burns insists there was never any sense of panic.
The players held total trust in their ability to climb off the bottom of the Division One table, and out of danger.
They have come a long way since those early days of February, and three unbeaten outings later, they're on the verge of safety.
A first win over Monaghan was followed by another convincing success against Cavan, and they're ready to carry an unbreakable sense of confidence into tomorrow's Croke Park clash with Dublin.
"I don't think that anyone was overly worried prior to the Monaghan game because we knew that the ability was there to start picking up points," said Burns.
"I suppose the training started a bit later this season than other years, although I wouldn't even put the results down to that. After the Roscommon game, coming up the Monaghan match it was decided that the points were needed.
"Things were probably got right in that one, we were more right structurally and that has continued in the last three games which has helped us to get the five points.
"We had a poor start to the league which was probably the same as last year when we also started off slowly. Everyone really prepared hard for the Monaghan match. We knew that was a massive match and everybody put their heads down and focused on trying to get a result.
"Thankfully, there have been a few points put on the board from the past few games."
Tyrone are still not out of trouble, but also have an outside chance at qualifying for the league final.
It's the latter scenario, however unlikely, that interests Burns as he prepares for a first meeting with the Dubs since last year's All-Ireland final.
"The way things are at the moment we're still not safe from relegation and obviously we could still make the league final, so everything is still to play for," he added.
The Pomeroy clubman is grateful for the opportunity to throw himself into a competitive game against the country's premier force, a tie that matters to both sides.
"We're just being solely focused on this Dublin game and after the All-Ireland final, it's good to get another crack at them.
"Their form has also been up and down a bit as well, which is maybe also down to the fact that they've been late starters in training. Some teams ran them close in the league and they have a lot of players to come back into the team from injury.
"Dublin are also in the position where they could make the league final, so they're going to be 100 per cent as up for this as Tyrone are going to be.
"It's a good test to have and that's always the way when you play the Dubs. They're the best team in the country at the moment, so it will be good to see where we're at"