Liam Rosenior has praised his manager’s integrity – after claiming Middlesbrough put undue pressure on Mike Dean.

The Wirral-based referee showed goalscorer Dale Stephens a red card as Albion agonisingly missed out on promotion.

Boro chief Aitor Karanka had called for a Premier League appointment in the run-up to the game and praised the selection of Dean ahead of Championship officials.

Rosenior said: “It starts before the game.

“It starts with managers who, for me, have no place talking about who should and shouldn’t be refereeing a game.

“That’s one of the reasons why I respect this manager (Chris Hughton) – because he never degrades himself to that level.

“The English game is all about respect. Respect for each other.

“I’ve got massive respect for Middlesbrough but I wouldn’t dream of talking about who should and shouldn’t be reffing a game of football.

“It’s a difficult job as it is.

“When you try and influence decisions like that, I think karma will get you back in the end.

“Good luck to Middlesbrough but I think a few people at this club could show a little bit more respect to the English game.”

Asked if his comments were in reference to Karanka, he said: “I’m not going to name names but it’s obvious.”