Mark Sykes: Oxford midfielder called up for Northern Ireland training camp

Mark Sykes in action for Northern Ireland under-21s
Sykes has played for Northern Ireland Under 21s but has yet to earn a senior international cap

Mark Sykes has been called up for a Northern Ireland training camp ahead of next month's Euro qualifier double-header.

The uncapped Oxford United midfielder has been included by manager Michael O'Neill in a 20-man panel for this week's three-day camp in Manchester.

Motherwell goalkeeper Trevor Carson returns to the squad, having not played competitively since developing deep vein thrombosis in November.

Striker Kyle Vassell is also recalled.

Centre-half Craig Cathcart, who played in Watford's FA Cup final defeat by Manchester City on Saturday, is left out along with captain Steven Davis.

Leeds United pair Stuart Dallas and Bailey Peacock-Farrell, whose club lost in last week's Championship play-off semi-finals, are not included.

Will Grigg, who will be hoping to feature for Sunderland in next week's League One play-off final, is also rested.

Sheffield United midfielder Oliver Norwood is missing again, after declaring himself unavailable for the opening two Euro qualifiers in March.

A similar training camp will also be staged in Manchester next week as Northern Ireland prepare for Euro 2020 qualifying matches away to Estonia on 8 June and Belarus on 11 June.

Trevor Carson
Carson made his Northern Ireland debut in March 2018

O'Neill will name his squad for the double header after next week's training camp.

Attacking midfielder Sykes, who joined League One's Oxford from Glenavon in January, is a former Northern Ireland Under-21 international.

He made nine league appearances for Oxford, who finished the season in 12th position after moving away from the relegation zone.

Carson, meanwhile, developed DVT in his shoulder following his appearance for Northern Ireland in their Uefa Nations League defeat by Austria last November.

The 31-year-old, who has won five caps for his country, was on the bench for Motherwell's final Scottish Premiership game of the season against Livingston on Saturday.

Northern Ireland squad:

Goalkeepers - Michael McGovern (Norwich City), Trevor Carson (Motherwell), Conor Hazard (Celtic).

Defenders - Paddy McNair (Middlesbrough), Conor McLaughlin (unattached), Daniel Ballard (Arsenal), Ryan McLaughlin (Rochdale), Jonny Evans (Leicester City).

Midfielders - George Saville (Middlesbrough), Mark Sykes (Oxford United), Gavin Whyte (Oxford United), Jordan Thompson (Blackpool), Shane Ferguson (Millwall), Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers).

Forwards - Conor Washington (unattached), Josh Magennis (Bolton Wanderers), Liam Boyce (Burton Albion), Paul Smyth (QPR), Kyle Lafferty (Rangers), Kyle Vassell (Rotherham United).