Benny Coulter has urged Down to recall midfielder Dan Gordon to strengthen their bid for an Ulster SFC title.
Former All Star forward Coulter - who retired last December after 15 seasons playing for the Mourne county - is hopeful his former team-mates can beat Derry in Sunday's first-round tie in Celtic Park.
However, long-term, he fears the lack of natural midfielders in the squad will hurt their Ulster title bid this summer and thinks a recall for Gordon could pay off for new manager Jim McCorry.
"Jim has said the door is open for Marty (Clarke) - he seems to be the only player that it is open to, but the one player I would like to see brought in is big Dan," said Coulter.
"Dan is still the best midfielder in Down football, and he is by quite a distance. There is no doubt about it.
"He is playing well for the club (Loughinisland). I just feel he would be a great option to have there, even to spring off the bench."
McCorry has tinkered with midfield formations throughout the promotion-winning League campaign, experimenting with Paul Devlin, Kevin McKernan and Caolan Mooney in the middle of the field.
"Maybe some of the lads wouldn't want him (Gordon) back because he wasn't there all year, but they need something," added Coulter.
"They are playing boys at midfield who don't really play there for their clubs. I think if you're going to play midfield for your county, you certainly should be playing there for your club.
"I still hope they will get over Derry without him, but if they had Dan and Marty they would have a great chance of winning an Ulster."