The siege mentality, an affliction not unknown to Dublin, has struck again. A week after violent scenes marked their one-point win over neighbours Meath, the Dubs find themselves preparing for the National Football League Division Two final against Westmeath at Navan tomorrow night (7.00pm) without the services of several first-choice players.
Suspensions have been handed out and while Ciaran Whelan, Paul Flynn, Ross McConnell and Eamon Fennell have accepted their punishments, Tómas Quinn, Bernard Brogan, Paddy Andrews and Diarmaid Connolly will be challenging theirs.
Alan Brogan is already ruled out following his red card against Armagh and this means that Dubs boss Paul Caffrey must look to players like Collie Moran, Jason Sherlock, Barry Cahill and David Henry for leadership.
Dublin face a Westmeath side who have made unpretentious progress despite having their own injury worries surrounding Dessie Dolan and Dennis Glennon. But Westmeath's hopes of landing their third Division Two title this decade have been given a major boost with the news that Martin Flanagan has declared himself fit.
The Tyrrellspass midfielder was unable to start last Sunday's clash with Monaghan in Clones because of a cyst behind his knee, but made a massive contribution to the win when coming on as a substitute for the injured David Duffy before half-time and scoring two crucial points in the second half.
Duffy is still a doubt for Sunday and it will certainly be a surprise if Flanagan is not in the starting line-up. Westmeath manager Tomas O Flatharta has praised his team's consistency to date but maintains, that even without key players, Dublin will still be a difficult hurdle to surmount.
"They will have players who will now be very keen to make the most of their chance in the side and that won't make it easy for us," says former Kerry trainer O Flatharta.
Westmeath have two of the best defenders in the country in John Keane and Barry Ennis and the Dublin attack will certainly find barriers erected to their progress.
"We know that the Dubs will be very keen to make a big point in this game and we must be up for the challenge," adds O Flatharta.