There is no room for error for the Mayo hurlers tomorrow when Louth come calling to MacHale Park in round two of the Nickey Rackard Cup.
Mayo started off their campaign last weekend in Omagh and fell to a surprise defeat to Tyrone, going down 1-15 to 0-15 against a side who played league hurling a few divisions below them in the Spring.
Mayo were unable to keep tabs on Tyrone's Damien Casey, who bagged 1-12 for the red hand man, 1-7 of that in the first half, which Tyrone went in leading by 1-8 to 0-9. Mayo trailed by five points early on and managed to pull themselves level five minutes before the break, with Adrian Phillips leading the charge alongside Shane Boland and Cathal Freeman, but Tyrone were able to find their groove again before the break to go in leading by four points.
Mayo were unable to pull themselves level during the second half with Tyrone always keeping them at arms length and going into a five point lead again at one stage, before Mayo pulled it back to three points at the final whistle.
Speaking to the Mayo Advertiser this week Mayo manager Derek Walsh said: "It's a bit hard to put the finger on it, Tyrone were up for the game and we didn't get an ideal start to the match. We got it back level at one stage, but they outscored us 1-3 to 0-0 in the middle of the first half and we were chasing it really after that.
"We tried really hard, but we made a number of simple mistakes and that costs you, our wide count too didn't help we had 18 or 19 wides including four injury time alone. We got back to training on Tuesday and we looked back on what happened and then put it to one side and started working towards Saturday.
"There will be nothing easy in this one, our backs are against the wall and we have to win these two games to get out of the group. It could be the best thing that happened us and be a wake up call. I was at Louth's game against Sligo on Saturday, they are a good side and we will have to be on top of our game to get the win we need."
Tomorrow they will face a Louth side that are also heading into the game on the back of a defeat in round one, with Sligo seeing them off 2-24 to 1-19 in Dowdallshill. The Leinister men's talisman the last day was Darren Geoghegan, who hit 12 points for them, while David Kettle chipped in with three points and Seaghan Conneely hit the back of the net for the Wee County.
Mayo have to win tomorrow if they are going to have a chance of progressing in the competition and back that up with a win against Sligo in their third round outing against Sligo in a fortnight's time. With the top two sides in the four-team group going into the semi-finals - Mayo must make sure they are on top form in their remaining two outings.