Tyrone are the second-best football team in the country and sit best equipped to rattle the Dublin cart on its drive for five, according to Kieran Donaghy.
The former Kerry full-forward was speaking on Monday’s OTB AM and said that after Tyrone’s 1-20 to 0-7 victory over Cavan the Red Hand County are in a “fantastic position” to give Dublin’s ambitions a meaningful challenge.
“I think they look so solid. Against Cavan the last day it was kind of everyone behind the ball and get everyone inside around 50 yards back,” Donaghy said.
“And it was: ‘Just try and break us down and try and get through us and then we’ll turn you over and we’ll use our [Niall] Sluddens and our Mattie Donnellys and these fellas to carry the ball up the pitch and to get it into McCurry.’”
While Tyrone have faced criticism for their overly defensive style in the past, Donaghy notes that it is a system that they know “well” and is showing its worth as Tyrone stormed through the final round of the qualifiers.
“It's a style that they know and looking at them against Cavan on Saturday, Cavan just couldn't break it down, their key men were being marked out of it there were bodies everywhere.
“It’s not the most attractive to watch”, Donaghy admitted, “but it is extremely effective.”
“That Tyrone machine is starting to hum along perfectly. They have the defensive style down but now they are coupling that with [Cathal] McShane inside who is a breath of fresh air and just looks so sharp.
“They move really, well they communicate really well. They are good group tacklers, they love when you try and bring it into contact.”
Donaghy tipped the county to win their first two Super 8s games setting them up for a tie against Dublin in Croke Park where Tyrone beat the reigning champions in the league just four months ago.
“They are going to be right there and nobody is going to want to play them in an All-Ireland semi-final.
“In my head, they are the number two team in the country right now,” Donaghy said, adding that the O’Neill County has a “real chance” at knocking Dublin’s ego in the Super 8s.
“We can't tell if they have enough to beat Dublin this year but all I can say is they are in a really good place.
“They have all the weapons in place and they are building up that run.”
When it was put to Donaghy that he was stealing the thunder of the Specsavers OTB AM Power Rankings by naming Tyrone as the second best in the country, he concluded that he might have to give his own take on the infamous Power Rankings on this Thursday’s Shot Clock.