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Poll: Man Utd boss Ferguson doesn't intimidate refs

Former Premiership ref Graham Poll has dismissed Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez's claims that Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson intimidates match officials.

Benitez said on Friday: "He is the only manager in the league that cannot be punished for these things."

But Poll told BBC Radio 5Live on Monday: "What I would say about refereeing at Old Trafford is it's the place to go and referee in the Premier League - because it's the biggest one, so that's where referees aspire to.

"The first time you go there, of course you're going to be nervous; of course you're going to be tentative and you're well aware of reputations.

"But once you're an experienced referee it doesn't make any difference. You go out and referee completely impartially to the best of your ability.

"It's a slight on the top referees to say they are intimidated by Ferguson, because I don't think they are."

Poll also dismissed suggestions Ferguson exerts any more pressure on referees that other managers at games.

"He doesn't do any more," said Poll. "What he does, he does better. That I think is the key."

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