However, given his current role as technical director at Falkirk he is hoping his own manager Gary Holt ensures his old club's progress is halted, albeit temporarily, in tonight's League Cup tie between the sides.
Whatever the outcome this evening, Smith is of the opinion that the former St Johnstone and Bristol City manager can spark a revival in the north-east. Smith completed a Scottish Cup and League Cup double with Aberdeen in 1989/90, reached the previous season's League Cup final and led Aberdeen to runners-up spot in the league in three consecutive seasons.
In contrast, it is half a decade since Aberdeen finished inside the top six and 14 years since they contested a cup final. Within the corridors of Pittodrie and on the streets outwith there is a growing belief that McInnes can vastly improve on that record and Smith concurs.
"I think Aberdeen is made for him. Craig Brown steadied the ship and got the club in a better position without doing anything spectacular because it had been drifting badly," said Smith. "Now Derek has come in, he has brought in a few new players and he has got people talking about Aberdeen again and getting them in the papers. I would have been a bit wary for Derek if he hadn't had his two or three years at St Johnstone and then his experience in England.
"It's the right time for Derek McInnes and it's the right time for Aberdeen. We don't want people talking about a 'new dawn' but he can get them challenging again. With Rangers out of the equation, Aberdeen is the club to do that. Hearts are in disarray, Hibs are not the force they have been and Dundee United struggle with consistency. So this is the time for Aberdeen to move and with that support behind them they can do it. I hope, of course, that they don't do it on Wednesday night."
Smith is equally impressed by Holt, who took over in April and has made a bright start to the season.
"I was at his interview and I was impressed right away the way he walked into the room and handled himself. He wasn't aggressive but he had something about him. He laid out his ambitions very well and he had done his homework on Falkirk. He's good with the players. He is not a bully but you don't mess with him. I think he has a big chance. Gary spent a good few years working under Paul Lambert at Norwich and came to the club with a lot of experience on the coaching side."
If Falkirk are to cause an upset then they will be required to breach an Aberdeen rearguard that has kept four clean sheets in a row. Much of the improvement defensively has been ascribed to the displays being turned in by Joe Shaughnessy, a player whom Neil Simpson, the club's head of scouting, can see similarities with Richard Gough.
The 21-year-old from Galway joined the club five years ago as a centre-back with potential, but it's at right-back that he has caught the eye.
"I am quite comfortable and I enjoy it. I just try to learn from every game and we will see what happens and where I end up. I will be happy as long as I'm still playing," he said. "I saw Neil Simpson wrote that about Richard Gough and I had to go and Google him to find out who he was."
Shaughnessy puts the resurgence down to a greater camaraderie among the players, an atmosphere he credits McInnes with fostering.
"We do quite a lot together especially during the international weeks. We also go for lunch every Thursday after training and it certainly seems to be working out on the pitch."