Brendan Rodgers has defended his criticism of the officiating in Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat at Manchester City on Thursday, whilst former Premier League referee claimed his comments “smacked of sour grapes”.
Rodgers was frustrated at a number of incidents missed by referee Lee Mason and his team of officials, including a very bad offside decision against Raheem Sterling, and number of possible penalty claims.
The Northern Irishman questioned the Football Association’s decision to appoint Mason, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, to referee a game involving a Manchester team.
Poll, writing in his column in the Daily Mail, said, “For Brendan Rodgers to bemoan a referee from Bolton officiating a Manchester team smacks of sour grapes and should result in an FA charge.
“I thought that Rodgers was a more considered manager than that, but perhaps a whiff of recent success has affected his attitude.”
Speaking in his press conference at Melwood today ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Chelsea this Sunday, Rodgers stood by his comments over Mason and his appointment.
The Reds boss could face charges by the FA, but Rodgers maintained he had complete respect for the men in black.
“I think it [the FA investigation into his comments] is something that happens. I was only speaking honestly at the end of the game,” Rodgers is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying.
“Obviously I was emotional, but the FA and the referees know I fully support them. I ask my staff to be respectful, so we don’t chase officials down the line.
“So they know that when I make a statement like that, I was speaking honestly. I think it was continuous through the game.
“I have to speak on behalf of supporters. These supporters have an emotional investment.”
Rodgers also sought to clarify his comments regarding the choice to appoint a referee from Greater Manchester in a match involving Manchester City.
He added, “In terms of geography, I wasn’t questioning anyone’s integrity. I was questioning the logic.
“How many [Liverpool] games has Mike Dean from The Wirral refereed?
“My team was brilliant, confident and consistent in their attitude. We had no support.
“We will reflect on the performance and move on. If you look at my record I have never had any indiscretions. I don’t play games.
“’I’m sure that is something I will look at. I fight my corner but I always have respect.”
Liverpool now travel down to Chelsea for their final game of 2013 on Sunday afternoon.
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