Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has described Hearts counterpart Craig Levein as “childish” as the spat between the two bosses continued.
Levein hit out on Monday after McInnes dismissed Levein’s two penalty claims after the Dons’ recent 2-0 win, saying the Hearts boss was “always looking for penalties”.
The former Scotland manager accused McInnes of “double standards” and talking “tripe”, saying: “This is the same Derek McInnes that was on the phone to me three weeks ago crying his eyes out about the decisions that he got in the Celtic game, and the sending-off he got against Rangers.”
He was later quoted as saying McInnes was “being a d***”.
After his side lost 4-3 to Ladbrokes Premiership leaders Celtic, McInnes was asked about Levein’s comments.
“I have been in the game a long time and I find the reaction to what I said about Hearts a bit strange,” he said. “I find his reaction irrational and childish.
“Is the language strange? You can have your own opinions on that.
“I find it really disappointing from someone who has done so much in the game and who I have the highest of regard for.
“Craig has intimated that I phoned him. It needs to be said – he phoned me. He said I was crying my eyes out but who made the call? He was the one complaining and he hasn’t stopped moaning since.
“We played Rangers and then next day I was on the school run when the phone rang and it was Craig. I was still so pleased with my team from winning the game. It was a private phone call and he has put it into the public domain. There is more I could say about that call but I won’t.
“He said to me ‘what are we going to do about these referees?’ and my reaction to that was you carry on your crusade but for me, over 11 years as a manager, you don’t get any real benefit from criticising refs.
“The call came from Craig, which I found surprising because he’s not someone I normally speak to.
“There was distortion of what happened. Why would I call Craig Levein to complain about referees?
“You need to ask him why he phoned me to complain about refs. It is disappointing.”