Middlesbrough's Pogatetz accepts ref bias

Middlesbrough defender Emanuel Pogatetz insists it is "human nature" for referees to give more decisions in favour of the biggest clubs.

The Austrian believes the big four get more favourable decisions at their home stadiums simply because referees are more acutely aware of the repercussions of high-profile errors.

Boro head to Chelsea this Sunday before meeting Manchester United at the Riverside Stadium seven days later as they bid to finally put any lingering relegation fears to rest, and Pogatetz warned: "You know if you go to a big club like Chelsea you won't get any presents there and you can't expect any help off the referee.

"There's more pressure on the referees from the top clubs because if they make a decision against the top four clubs it will be in the media a long time. If they make a decision against us it will maybe be in the regional papers.

"I think they think twice before giving a decision against a top four club and once before they make a decision against us. But that is just human nature because of the spotlight."

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