Ardal McDermott says his Donegal side 'proved a point' with a nine-point success over Armagh in the Nicky Rackard Cup on Saturday.
Davin Flynn starred, scoring 1-5, as Donegal defeated the Orchard for the first time in 17 years as they kick-started their bid to make it to Croke Park in style.
Tipperary native Flynn rifled to the roof of the net after taking a pass from captain Danny Cullen after only 15 seconds of the second half as Donegal took charge.
"We got the result we've been seeking for against Armagh for a long number of years," McDermott said.
"We showed a lot of hunger and desire. They wanted to prove a point and step up - and they did.
"Players now believe that they're at a standard where they can win things. I have great belief in this team."
Donegal had been wasteful for a period in the first half but once they took a grip of the contest before half-time they never seemed in danger.
Donegal fielded former Armagh star Declan Coulter in their full-forward line and he contributed three points.
Armagh led 0-4 to 0-2, but Donegal were 0-10 to 0-6 in front by the break, with Flynn, Gerard Gilmore, Joe Boyle and Lee Henderson tacking on points.
As Flynn blasted past Simon Doherty right from the start of the second half, Donegal were well in command.
Donegal - who have already won Division 3A and earned promotion into Division 2B in the League - came into this one rested having opted not to field in an Ulster SHC relegation play-off against Down that was scheduled for last Sunday. As Flynn took his tally to 1-4 in the 53rd minute, opening up an eight-point gap, he took a late hit from Armagh wing-back Tiarnán Nevin, promptly given his marching orders.
Led by the classy Cullen and spurred by the majestic Flynn, Donegal showed that McDermott's vision of seeing his side line up for the final at Croke Park in June is one with a foundation beneath it.
Donegal: D Flynn 1-5, L Henderson 0-5 (4f, 1 '45), D Coulter 0-3, J Boyle, G Gilmore 0-2 each, B Lafferty, D Cullen 0-1 each
Armagh: D Carvill 0-6f, C Carvill, D McKenna 0-2 each, C Corvan, C Devlin, C Gorman 0-1 each