International breaks disrupt momentum, remove their control and leave them fraught with anxiety as they wait for their players to return.
After three years of enduring such hiatuses, Neil Lennon is finally coming to terms with handling the situation.
He still might not like it when countries come calling for his top players, especially when they are in the middle of a taxing Champions League campaign, but the Hoops boss is certainly a lot more relaxed about scanning a half-empty dressing room and training field.
At least his stars left him with something to smile about before they dug out their passports and waved goodbye for the next 10 days.
"Getting to the top of the league with a clean sheet is the perfect way to go into this break," said Lennon as he took the opportunity to draw breath again following his exertions in the Great Scottish Run.
"But I will be sitting like a worried hen now for the next two weeks.
"It is always a concern with so many of our players away on international duty.
"But many of them do have big games for their countries, and I hope they come through them okay and hope they are successful in these matches.
"The World Cup means a lot to these guys playing for their countries.
"But my main concern is what they do here, and that was an exceptional performance on Saturday (beating Motherwell 2-0) to go away on."
The main gripe managers have regarding international breaks is when their players are being whisked away to take part in non-competitive matches.
This time however, with the qualification for next summer's soccer samba extravaganza in Brazil coming down to the wire, Lennon accepts club managers have to take a back seat and adopt the position of very interested spectators.
Tom Rogic has already booked his place at the finals with Australia, and a number of his Hoops team-mates hope to join him within the next few games.
Lennon said: "If you look at Emilio Izaguirre, Mikael Lustig, Georgios Samaras and Efe Ambrose, they have got huge games to play as they try to get to the World Cup finals.
"Then there is Anthony Stokes getting his call-up again for the Republic of Ireland after being out for so long. It means a lot to him as well.
"So, I understand all of that, and I want them to go and I want them to do well.
"But, obviously, from a selfish point of view, I want them to be okay when they come back, both physically and psychologically.
"You don't want to have to be picking them up after these games because it didn't go well for them."
The Parkhead boss believes the club is already guaranteed to benefit from Stokes' recall to the Republic squad after being frozen out by former head coach, Giovanni Trapattoni.
Interim boss, Noel King, has been impressed enough by the striker's early-season form - Saturday was his fifth goal - to bring him in from the cold for the qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan.
And Lennon has sent him off with a ringing endorsement, even if the downtime might otherwise have been used to try to progress the negotiations over a new contract.
He explained: "We re-jigged things a little bit on Saturday and Stokesy does a brilliant job for us wherever he is asked to play.
"His energy levels are amazing. Towards the end of the game, he was still running flat out, closing people down.
"Possibly, that's the benefit of the work he did when out injured for the first half of last season, but he is a naturally fit boy.
"He is looking after himself, obviously, and is getting the benefit from it. It was a great goal and a great performance on Saturday."
With Samaras sidelined with a virus for the game with Motherwell, Stokes was asked to link up with new Bhoy Teemu Pukki, while Kris Commons floated around the pair to help create chances and to swoop on any scraps himself.
Stokes and Commons both got on the scoresheet, the former with a clinical, opportunist strike after a blunder by keeper Lee Hollis, and the latter doing it all alone as he skipped through the Motherwell defence before deftly chipping over the goalie as he advanced.
The initial rhythm of their game was upset by the early departure of Adam Matthews, whose transformation from full-back to wide midfielder has been a positive feature of the side this season.
Unfortunately, the Welshman's shoulder injury has been deemed serious enough to require surgery, and he will go under the knife tomorrow.
Matthews will then spend the remainder of 2013 recuperating, a massive blow to Celtic's hopes of recovering lost ground in their Champions League group.
The 21-year-old was seen by specialists yesterday amidst fears he had broken his right collarbone as he fell following a challenge by Keith Lasley, who Lennon exonerated from any blame.
With countryman Joe Ledley already sidelined with a groin/hip problem, Derk Boerrigter battling to recover from a recurring ankle injury and Scott Brown suspended for at least the next Champions League game, against Ajax on October 22, it leaves the Hoops light in midfield.
However, their Dutch opponents have problems of their own with captain Siem de Jong - who has just returned after suffering a collapsed lung at the start of the season - forced to come off midway through the first half of the weekend win over Utrecht with a hamstring problem.
Another Group H side, AC Milan, are also counting the cost of their weekend after losing to Juventus. Phillipe Mexes was sent off for two cautions and TV evidence later showed he had also punched Giorgio Chiellini in the back of the head at a corner.
The defender has now been banned for four games while Milan must play their next home match behind closed doors after "insulting" chants by their fans at the game.