Joe McMahon believes the only way Tyrone can win the All-Ireland SFC is if they are playing in Division 1 of the Allianz Football League.
Tyrone won the Sam Maguire in 2003, 2005 and 2008 but they have failed to go beyond the quarter-finals in the championship since they were relegated to Division 2 in 2010.
McMahon believes the fact that they are not being tested against the biggest teams is having a detrimental effect on their championship claims and he has urged the squad to do all they can to earn promotion back to the top division.
"You can only play what is in front of you. We were disappointed to be relegated," McMahon admits. "Division 1 is where you want to be playing your football. In Division 2 there are good teams there and there is a stiff challenge.
"But the facts are there - towards the end of the season, Division 1 teams are the teams you are going to be meeting.
"It is nice to meet them early in the season and have that benchmark. But league football is a stepping stone towards the Championship. It will be a different pace.
"The work we are doing in training, there is plenty of intensity. It shows this time if year when teams are putting in a lot of work.
"But looking back on previous years maybe we wouldn't have put in as much work. Definitely I hope it will stand to us come the end of the season."