Celtic manager Neil Lennon has expressed his admiration for under-pressure Aberdeen counterpart Derek McInnes ahead of the teams` meeting, live on Sky Sports.
Lennon, who will take his Scottish Premiership leaders to Pittodrie on Sunday, believes Dons supporters have been quick to forget what McInnes has achieved at the club since he was appointed in 2013.
McInnes faced criticism from some fans after a fifth game without a goal against Kilmarnock last weekend, but his players did ease some of the scrutiny on their boss with a 3-0 win over struggling Hamilton on Wednesday.
Aberdeen vs Celtic
February 16, 2020, 11:30am
I am surprised [by the abuse] but then again nothing surprises you in football, said Lennon.
You`ve got to admire the longevity in the modern game that Derek has had. I think he`s coming into his seventh season.
He`s been loyal, he`s kept rebuilding the team and I think he deserves support rather than criticism
Neil Lennon on Derek McInnes
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.
Celtic had October`s Pittodrie clash wrapped up by half-time as they ran riot with four goals inside the opening 45 minutes.
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.