Belfast Telegraph

Barton to give it a go with Northern Ireland

By Stuart McKinley

Adam Barton is set to make his Northern Ireland debut next Wednesday — just over a month after telling manager Nigel Worthington that he wasn't ready to commit his international future to the country.

Worthington called the Preston North End teenager into his squad for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Italy last month, only for Barton to inform Irish FA two days later that he was rejecting the call-up.

Now, however, with his squad hit by a spate of injuries, Worthington has called the Blackburn-born midfielder in for next week’s Windsor Park friendly against Morocco and he wants to ensure that there is no turning back this time.

The international boss is hoping that three days with the squad and an appearance at Windsor Park will persuade the 19-year-old to forget about playing for England and commit to wearing the green of Northern Ireland instead.

“Steve Beaglehole (under-21 manager) has worked very hard on Adam ,” said Worthington.

“He has spoken to him, encouraged him and told him that he’s wanted.

“Now that we’ve got him in Adam can see what we’re about and it gives us the chance to sell Northern Ireland to him.”

Watford full-back Lee Hodson is also in-line for a debut after he was drafted in from the under-21 squad, as is Bournemouth’s Josh McQuiod, who has scored eight times for the League One club so far in this campaign.

Call-ups for Scunthorpe United’s Michael O’Connor and Andy Little of Rangers have also been confirmed.

Belfast Telegraph

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