Jack O'Connor was pleased with the response of his Kerry side after they put a poor defeat to Mayo behind them with a hard-fought win over Armagh in Tralee.

The All-Ireland champions were beaten by seven points in round two after only managing three themselves in the first half.

But on Saturday evening they got the better of a dogged Armagh outfit to win by a single score, 0-12 to 0-11.

"We were awful disappointed with last week in Castlebar," Kerry boss Jack O'Connor told RTÉ Sport afterwards. "We didn't think that was a true reflection of what we're about.

"We got a good reaction on Tuesday night at training and we were glad we got a reaction tonight.

"They're proud lads and they wanted to put their best foot forward. We said before the game in the dressing-room that it was up to them and I thought they were excellent, particularly in the second half because Armagh went two up and they're a tough nut to crack.

"They're very fit and very physical. It took great resolve from our guys to get over the line.

"Overall, great heart, which is what we were looking for. We were looking for attitude and performance tonight and if we got a result that was a bonus."

Man of the match Dara Moynihan said O'Connor hadn't been happy but the players knew themselves that they needed to improve this week.

"We let ourselves down massively last weekend. We know that," he told RTÉ Sport.

"Jack let us know during the week. I wouldn't say the hairdryer treatment but he let us know. It wasn't good enough and we were way off the pace.

"We needed to come out here and get a good performance at home. That was all that mattered, getting the win today. It didn't need to be pretty.

"It was a great win, a great battle. We knew with Armagh coming down here, especially with Kieran Donaghy involved, it was going to be tough. It was the same up in the Athletic Grounds last year."

Ahead of Sunday's fixtures Kerry moved up to third in the table with four points from four games. They are also the reigning league champions but after a long successful season and team holiday in December, O'Connor said he would settle for survival this year.

"I said from before the league started that I'd be delighted to finish in the middle of the table because we were late back training, a month, six weeks or two months behind some teams.

"We'll be happy enough if we get two more points and safety. We don't need to win the league this year, we just need to survive in Division 1 [then] put the heads down and prepare for championship."