Mickey Harte put Tyrone’s six-point win over Donegal down to sheer hard work on Saturday evening.
Goals either side of half-time by Niall Sludden and Mark Bradley helped Tyrone to a 2-13 to 1-10 win that has piled the pressure on Donegal in the battle to avoid the drop.
An Odhrán Mac Niallais goal had Donegal in touch, but Tyrone closed out with a flurry of points to win well.
“You can’t beat workrate,” Harte observed.
“Whatever else you do, or whatever other skill sets you have, if skill isn’t accompanied by work, then it doesn’t really work.
“We had boys who were prepare to work hard. It took a while to settle in I suppose, to the flow of the game, and to get them to play the way we actually wanted them to play.
“But when they got to grips with that, and understood what we were looking from them, a couple of fast breaks in the first half were just breath-taking.
“And I think that’s a nice way to play football, if you can hold out, turn people over, and break at breakneck speed, then to me, that’s a very interesting and entertaining game.”
Sludden’s goal had Tyrone leading by a point, 1-5 to 0-7, at the short whistle, and when Bradley netted just after the re-start, it gave Tyrone a firm cushion.
It was only a second League win of the year for the Red Hands, but the victory gives them an edge on Donegal in the survival scrap.
Harte said: “The two points were vital, that’s for sure, and we had to battle for them.
“In the first half, Donegal looked have the upper hand and maybe seemed to be more in control of the game than we were.
“But goals are very important in a game, and we got that one in the first half, which actually gave us a bit of confidence going in at half-time, that we hadn’t played as well as they did, and yet we were a point up, a wee bit of déjà vu against Monaghan.
“We knuckled down in the second half and got scores at vital times.
“When we got the second goal, we were in a really strong position, and we wouldn’t be happy with the fact that we let Donegal get back with a goal, because if we had held on properly at that stage, and made them look for points, I think they would have had great trouble getting as close to us as they did.
“But when they got a goal, and then got a point after it, they were really back in business again, so we actually had to win the game twice.”