Garry Monk has welcomed the appointment of Mike Dean as referee for Leeds United’s trip to Barnsley and described him as a “top-quality official” after Dean was given Championship duties on the back of repeated Premier League controversies.
Dean, a Select Group referee, will take charge of tomorrow’s derby at Oakwell in what is widely seen as a demotion in response to previous errors. The official was heavily criticised over Christmas for a red card shown to West Ham United’s Sofiane Feghouli which was later overturned on appeal. His performance in the Merseyside derby on December 19 also came into question after he failed to send off Everton midfielder Ross Barkley for a bad foul on Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson.
Dean has handled only one other Championship match this season, a meeting between Birmingham City and Aston Villa at St Andrews in October.
But Monk said: “I know Mike very well. I’ve played with him in matches and managed with him in matches. He’s a top-quality official. Like everyone, you go through ups and downs and you have difficult moments but he’s a top referee and he’ll handle it in the right way.
“It’s good for us to have a Premier League referee.”