STEVEN GERRARD has called for referees to be shown more respect in Scotland and insisted he wasn’t surprised that Alfredo Morelos had no case to answer for his involvement in three Old Firm flashpoints.

The Colombian will face no action from the Scottish FA after whistler John Beaton confirmed he had seen incidents involving Scott Brown, Ryan Christie and Anthony Ralston during Rangers’ 1-0 victory at Ibrox last month.

All three moments largely went unnoticed on the day as Ryan Jack fired the Light Blues back into the title race and Gerrard’s side turned in a dominant derby display.

But the performance of referee Beaton has come under the microscope in recent days as the focus has been fixed on Morelos once again.

Beaton was forced to call in the cops last week after allegedly receiving threatening messages and he was given a police escort before taking charge of the Championship clash between Ayr United and Falkirk on Saturday afternoon.

That came just hours after Celtic issued a strongly worded statement calling for Beaton to explain his decisions after claiming they were ‘surprised’ that no action was taken against Morelos.

The escalating situation promoted Hampden chief executive Ian Maxwell to call for respect towards match officials as he insisted a ‘line had been crossed’.

And Ibrox boss Gerrard reckons more understanding has to be shown towards our men in black as the SFA get set to hold a summit between various stakeholders in the coming weeks.

He said: “I can’t control what comes out of Celtic in terms of statements. I am focused on my players and my club.

“The referees have a difficult job and we do not like to see them receiving  threats on the back of a game of an Old Firm game.

“The referee has an impossible job because he’s dealing with two sets of players who are fired up.

“He’ll see certain things and he’ll miss things, that’s human nature. We had situation where Candeias was on the end of a really nasty challenge.

“I was aware of the incidents being highlighted but I wasn’t really interested in it at all and it wasn’t a surprise at all when he didn’t have a case to answer.

“You can obviously go back in every single game of football all over the world and analyse certain situations that referees have missed.

“It’s a very difficult job out there, especially in the heat of an Old Firm. But we’ve got a duty of care to respect referees and appreciate the job they do.

“At times this year decisions have gone against us - at Dundee there was an offside that killed us for two points - but you’ve got to have the respect for the referees where over the course of a year they’ll balance themselves out.”