Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor has jumped to the defence of ref Mark Halsey.

Halsey has been abused on Twitter and told to call it a day by former referee Graham Poll after missing Callum McManaman's horror tackle on Massadio Haidara in Wigan's ­controversial win over Newcastle at the DW Stadium last Sunday.

But Taylor told the People: "I sincerely hope Mark Halsey does not quit refereeing.

"Yes, he missed what was a bad tackle on Massadio Haidara because his view of the incident was blocked. He has admitted the Wigan player deserved a red card and has ­apologised to our gaffer.

"I don't see what else he can do now, and the talk of him quitting is just not on.

"I know I speak for a lot of other players in the Premier League when I say he is a ­player's referee and one we enjoy playing under.

"Earlier this season when I was getting all sorts of abuse as I went on as substitute against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, he told me not to worry because he had even had death threats.

"He took the time to ­support me then and the least I can do is support him now."