McInnes, who has emerged as a frontrunner for the vacant Scotland job, has guided the Dons to second-place finishes for four seasons in a row.
They look to be on course for third or fourth place this time around but they were never close to making the top six in the immediate years prior to McInnes’ appointment.
“The manager of the year contest is a close one,” said Lennon. “They [Aberdeen] have made a semi-final and they have made a final. He has had to rejig his squad more or less every year and they have been very consistent.
“People take it for granted. But it is a very difficult thing to do. He has been second a good few times, he has got Aberdeen third behind the big two. That is the best they can probably do. He has pushed Celtic many times in semi-finals and finals. I think he has been loyal to Aberdeen when big clubs were looking for his services, which didn’t surprise me. I think sometimes he gets underappreciated.
“I understand fans get restless, they get restless every week, from one week to the next. For him to keep evolving over the six years speaks volumes for his temperament as well.”