Donegal's Frank McGlynn says the team has greater belief heading into Sunday's All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Cork than was the case at the same stage against Dublin last year.
McGlynn believes hesitancy cost Donegal in the closing stages of last year's narrow semi-final defeat.
"We needed to let loose, really believe in ourselves and go at Dublin," McGlynn told BBC Sport.
"We're going into the game against Cork with probably a different mindset."
McGlynn added:"When you look back, we lacked the belief to win the game in the last 15 or 20 minutes against Dublin.
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“To think coming off the back of that 2010 defeat in Crossmaglen, that we would put back to back Ulster titles together. It really was way off our radar at that stage”
"(But) We got a good taste of it and we've really focused on getting back to that stage this year, getting over the line and hopefully making it to an All-Ireland Final.
"I think we just didn't realise what we were on the verge of.
"That's probably one of the most valuable lessons that we've learned."
Manager Jim McGuinness has insisted that Cork's thumping 2009 All-Ireland quarter-final win over John Joe Doherty's Donegal side "has not and win not be mentioned" in the build-up to Sunday's match but McGlynn believes it will be "in the back of our minds".
"Cork showed us in 2009 what level they are at. (And) They have probably improved since then.
"It really will be a challenge for us to match their levels of intensity, physicality and speed.
"The 2009 game really was an eye opener for us and showed the level we needed to get to.
"(But) We've done a lot of work over these last two years. A lot of fitness work and gym work. We're looking forward to getting a stern test against a very good Cork team."
Ten months after the 1-27 to 2-10 All-Ireland quarter-final hammering by the Rebels, Donegal football looked at absolute rock bottom when they were humiliated by Armagh in an All-Ireland qualifier at Crossmaglen.
"To think coming off the back of that 2010 defeat in Crossmaglen, that we would put back to back Ulster titles together. It really was way off our radar at that stage."