Preston North End midfielder Adam Barton has won a first call-up to the Northern Ireland squad.

A target for Sunderland and Bolton Wanderers, Barton's selection is a surprise pick by the manager, Nigel Worthington, for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Italy and the Faroe Islands next month.

Worthington said of Barton: "I am delighted to bring Adam in. I have monitored him very closely and he has always caught the eye. I have no qualms about bringing him into the senior group."