Derry's Conor Glass believes the hard-fought nature of their win over Donegal is a blessing in disguise when it comes to sharpening their focus for next week's final All-Ireland SFC group match against Clare.
Three second half goals helped them to a five-point victory in Ballybofey that moves them top of Group 4, level on points with Monaghan.
But midfielder Glass was not overly satisfied with Derry's display, describing it as "a good performance but not great from us".
And he added that they could have converted more goal chances despite a healthy tally of three by full-time.
"We probably should have had a couple more," he told RTÉ Sport.
"But we left them out on the pitch and it's always something good to work on going into next week.
"If we had've scored about six or seven goals, we probably mightn't have such a focus for next week. But at least we have a focus for next week."
Donegal's Jason McGee limped off just before the hour mark in Ballybofey but played down the extent of the injury, although the pain of defeat was more prominent in his thoughts.
"I'm hoping it's not too extreme. I just felt a wee tweak towards the end. I was carrying a little niggle and I hope I won't be too bad," he said.
"I'm disappointed with the result. Goals are a killer in this game, especially when the games are so tight between ourselves and Derry and in fairness they took off after they got their goal.
"After we conceded a few goals, then we nicked back a few scores and we kept in the game. The fight was there and we're not too far away."