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The Liverpool boss branded the level of officiating "horrendous" after Thursday's defeat to Manchester City and questioned the selection of a Greater Manchester referee

Brendan Rodgers has stood by his comments about referee Lee Mason following Liverpool's 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on Thursday.

The Northern Irishman labelled the performance of the match officials as "horrendous" during his side's Boxing Day reverse, feeling particularly aggrieved by the decision to disallow a goal from winger Raheem Sterling with the score still at 0-0.

His words are set to be investigated by the Football Association, but Rodgers insists he was telling it as he saw it and would not be taking back the comments.

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"I'm not one that is berating referees after games, I'm always respectful and I ask my staff to be respectful, on the pitch we're never chasing fourth officials or anything on a match day," he said.

"I've had a number of referees in here to help and support what they do.

"I think they know that when I come out and make a statement like I did, it was obviously emotional after the game of course, but it was something that I will speak honestly on. As I said, whatever action they will take, they will decide.

"I have to speak on behalf of the supporters of the club, a club that has an emotional investment for many many of millions of people throughout the world."

In a particularly controversial excerpt, Rodgers questioned the appointment of Mason to referee the Premier League encounter as he is from nearby Bolton.

"In terms of geography, it wasn't the case at all, I certainly wasn't questioning the integrity of the referees," he added.

"As I said before, I fully understand the job, it was more the logic of it, in terms of having a referee from that particular part of the world refereeing a game in Manchester, I wouldn't suspect that Mike Dean from the Wirral has refereed many games for Liverpool over the years."

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