McKenna Cup: Armagh will relish Tyrone challenge - Oisin O'Neill

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Armagh's Oisin O'Neill has said playing Tyrone and Cavan in the McKenna Cup will help his side "hit the ground running."

Kieran McGeeney's men lost to Tyrone in last year's final and O'Neill believes that Armagh need a fast start with the introduction of the two-tier All-Ireland championship.

"I suppose any draw you get is going to be tough," said Crossmaglen's O'Neill.

"Good competitive games against Tyrone and Cavan will certainly help us."

"There's the added pressure of Tier 2 if we're relegated in the league this year, so we have to be ready to hit the ground running."

O'Neill says growing up with the rivalry of Tyrone and Armagh in the mid-2000s will add extra spice to the Section C encounter.

"It'll be a good affair. It will probably be in and around Christmas, so it will draw a good crowd," he added.

"I remember watching the 2005 Ulster final and the All-Ireland semi-final. Tyrone came out on top in those games but I have a lot of good memories growing up watching Armagh."

With 2002 All-Ireland winner McGeeney at the helm, O'Neill feels that the Orchard County can build on improving performances last season.

"We have a really settled group at the minute," said O'Neill.

"The only man we lost is Charlie (Vernon), who retired, and we're all sad to see him go.

"Apart from that, everyone has been training hard. We've done a lot of work so far and hopefully that will stand with us whenever the football starts."