Mickey Harte is seeking improvement from Tyrone, despite maintaining their unbeaten start to Division 2 of the Allianz Football League with a three-point win over Laois in Portlaoise yesterday.
A Padraig McNulty goal saw them eight points in front with 13 minutes remaining, but Laois ensured a tense finish, firing five unanswered points from the Kingston brothers Donal and Paul, as Tyrone sweated out victory. Laois led by 0-6 to 0-4 after 24 minutes, but Tyrone swung this around with eight unanswered scores - four either side of the break.
Niall Sludden, Tiernan McCann and Mattie Donnelly punished Laois with scores from play, while Ronan O'Neill slotted over two placed balls. The teams were well matched in the middle third of the second half, but Tyrone came good once more thanks to substitute McNulty.
Harte said: "It is a perfect start in terms of results, but I would say that there's plenty to be improved upon in terms of performance."
Laois fired 13 wides over the contest, and went 21 minutes without a score, in a spell which saw Tyrone score eight points.
Cavanagh's steadying force was missed during that final quarter, as Laois took over, with a fifth Donal Kingston point cutting the gap to three points in injury-time.
Laois continued to press hard but Tyrone held out for victory.
"When you are dealing with a team that's prepared to go for the throat, then you need to be prepared to be on your guard," Harte added.
TYRONE: M O'Neill; C McCarron, J McMahon, HP McGarry; T McCann (0-2), A McCrory, B Tierney (0-1); C Cavanagh, M Donnelly (0-3); N Sludden (0-2), M Bradley (0-1), C Meyler; D McCurry (0-2, 1f), S Cavanagh, R O'Neill (0-3, 2f). Subs: J Monroe for Tierney (48); R Donnelly for Bradley (50); P Harte for O'Neill (50); P McNulty (1-0) for C Cavanagh (56); L Brennan for McCurry (58); P Hampsey for McMahon (59).
LAOIS: G Brody; R Kehoe, P Cotter, D Seale; D Strong, C Begley, G Dillon; J O'Loughlin (0-3), B Quigley; N Donoher, G Walsh (0-2, 1 45), C Meredith; P Cahillane (0-1, 1f), D Kingston (0-5, 3f), K Lillis (0-01). Subs: D O'Connor for Cotter (39); R O'Connor (0-1) for Walsh (47); E Costello for Meredith (53); D O'Reilly for Dillon (56); P Kingston (0-1) for Cahillane (59); A Farrell for Strong (63).
Referee: Padraig O'Sullivan (Kerry)