The two are preparing to face off at Tynecastle in a big League Cup quarter-final. With both managers criticised by their own fans early on this season, they could be doing with a win.
McInnes has sympathy for Levein and reckons that managers aren’t fairly judged at this time of year.
He told the BBC: “Craig has been battered from pillar to post. For me, seeing other managers under real scrutiny and real debate this early on in the season is really disappointing. We’re in real danger of going down same road as what happens in England.
“Last year, managers lost their jobs in August, but it used to be at least October or November before people even questioned a manager. If a manager is put in place, give him the chance to manage.
“We all get it as managers, we expect criticism, I just feel sometimes it can be a bit much and relentless.”
McInnes and Levein face the same pressures
Last season Levein and McInnes were involved in a public war of words. The Hearts boss said McInnes phoned him to cry ‘his eyes out’ about bad decisions in games against Celtic and Rangers last season (The Scottish Sun).
He then accused the Pittodrie boss of ‘being a d**k’ in another interview (The Scottish Sun).
After all of this, McInnes said Levein made the phone call up, with the Aberdeen manager saying it was Levein who phoned him (BBC). He then called the Jambos boss ‘irrational and childish.’
For all of this to go on, you could hardly blame McInnes for then not wanting to voice his support for under-fire Levein. Despite all of the media attention, he still resonates with the Gorgie boss.
Perhaps it’s because they face the same pressures. Both of them are constantly spoken about in the media and by their own fans, and not all of it is positive.
McInnes understands Levein’s position and that could be why he has sympathy for him.