Skip to main content

Lennon: McInnes is one of the best managers in Aberdeen’s history

Celtic boss Neil Lennon says the Aberdeen fans calling for Derek McInnes’ head should be careful what they wish for.

The Pittodrie faithful let rip at their manager against Kilmarnock last weekend after a fifth game without a goal.

The Reds did ease some of the pressure on their boss on Wednesday night as they got back to winning ways in the Ladbrokes Premiership with a 3-0 win over struggling Hamilton.

But Lennon, whose side travel to the Granite City on Sunday, believes the Dons support have been quick to forget what McInnes has for the club since he was appointed in 2013.

The League Cup win a year into his reign is the only silverware delivered so far but Aberdeen have been consistent finishers in the European slots since the 48-year-old took over.

Now Lennon has warned those demanding a change at the top that they might not like what they get in return.

“I am surprised (by the abuse) but then again nothing surprises you in football,” said the Northern Irishman.

“You’ve got to admire the longevity in the modern game that Derek has had. I think he’s coming into his seventh season.

“I’m sure he’s one of the best managers in Aberdeen’s history. I know they’ve had Sir Alex Ferguson so he will fall somewhere in behind him in that category.

“But nothing surprises me. (The abuse) is unfair. He’s been loyal, he’s kept rebuilding the team and I think he deserves support rather than criticism.

“Do fans have short memories? Yes, of course. But we know that in the modern game.

“They are looking for the next big thing, which sometimes isn’t there. You’ve got to be careful what you wish for.”

Lennon may be backing his counterpart for now but he could give McInnes further problems with a win this weekend – especially if the runaway league leaders perform like they did on their last trip north.

Celtic had October’s Pittodrie clash wrapped up by half-time as they ran riot with four goals inside the opening 45 minutes.

“Yeah we were fantastic that day,” said Lennon.  “It was one of the best 45 minutes of the season. If we can play like that again I’ll be absolutely delighted.

“But it’s a different game, there will be different personnel probably, it’s a different time of the season.

“We’re going there to try to win the game as best we can.”

Celtic have made a habit of winning well at Pittodrie over the past 18 months, chalking up 14 goals in their last four visits – compared to just four strikes at home to the Dons over the same period.

“Maybe they are a bit more expansive when they play at home, but I don’t know,” said Lennon.

“I do know it’s a difficult venue and that Aberdeen had a very good win on Tuesday night to get themselves going again.

“I do know they have a very good manager, so it’s a dangerous game.

“We have to be at our best. It’s an early kick-off so we have to get ourselves up there, get well rested and get ready because the early kick-offs can be difficult. Then we have to see what the weather conditions are going to be like as well.

“I think some of our football this season has been spectacular and we’ve racked up some really good scorelines as well.”