Former Tyrone star Sean Cavanagh has hailed Mickey Harte as a 'serial winner' but admitted that the county's team of recent years had not been able to live up to the high standards set by the former manager .

Harte called time on his 18-year reign in charge of the Tyrone senior footballers last week after his request for a one-year extension was not granted by the Tyrone management committee. 

The decision brings the curtain down on a hugely successful era, which yielded six Ulster Senior Championship titles and three All-Ireland crowns. 

Cavanagh was there for each of the All-Ireland triumphs and, speaking on the Sunday Game, he paid tribute to his former manager. 

"I have to be very thankful for the good days, through the 2000s we had three All-Irelands, we had a National League title.

"I was lucky enough and honoured to captain a side more recently to a couple of Ulster [titles]. 

"Mickey is and has always been a serial winner and he imposed that on ourselves. He demanded the best of us no matter when and what we were playing - I think I have 10 McKenna Cup medals whether I like them or not."

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"You always have to caveat that with there was an amazing core group of players there. Mickey was lucky enough to inherit the ‘98 minors and that core group was the backbone of success right through to the 2008 All-Ireland winning team. 

"Since then we probably haven’t reached the standards that Mickey set himself in the early years." 

Cavanagh admitted that perhaps the time had come for a change, but insists that whoever takes over, they will be inheriting a strong group of players. 

"He was always a big believer in that we should be challenging for All-Ireland titles every year and I don’t think we’ve beaten a Dublin, Mayo or Kerry since then. I think we haven’t reached those standards. 

"The incredible dedication and commitment he’s given Tyrone is unrivalled and will probably never be matched but sometimes a change, a fresh voice could energise things. 

"Mickey would be the first to say that there’s a brilliant group of players and however does come in will be expected to be at the standards that Mickey expected at the beginning of his tenure, that’s challenging for Ulster and All-Ireland titles."