OXFORD United midfielder Mark Sykes has been quick to make an impression on his first taste of senior international football.

The January signing from Glenavon is away with the Northern Ireland squad, which includes U’s teammate Gavin Whyte, for a camp at Manchester City’s training ground.

After a three-day stay last week, they are now back together again to keep sharp ahead of Euro 2020 qualifiers next month.

Also read: Oxford United's away trips in League One next season - interactive map

Sykes is uncapped at first-team level, but has impressed boss Michael O’Neill, who has kept a close eye on the 21-year-old since his move to England.

He said: “Mark’s had a good start since he came across in January.

“Sometimes lads find it a wee bit more difficult to adapt, but in the starts he’s had at Oxford he’s played very well.

“You can see it already and I’ve been impressed with him.

“He’s a very natural footballer.

“It’s nice to see a young player like that who has come out of the Irish League and make an impact.

“He certainly has a great future ahead of him.”

Sykes will find out later this week if he has done enough to earn a first call-up for the matches in Estonia (June 8) and Belarus (June 11).

But the experience already has been an eye-opener.

He said: “I was obviously really honoured to be asked to come here and I’m really enjoying it.

Also read: Ex-Oxford United coach Des Buckingham guides New Zealand to super start at Under 20 World Cup

“To be fair Gavin said it wouldn’t be long before I was involved.

“This is probably the highest standard I’ve played at in my short career. With players like Jonny (Evans) here who has played in the Premier League it’s really good for me.

“I probably wouldn’t have thought last year I’d be involved in this, but since I’ve moved to Oxford my career has been on the up and I’m delighted to be involved in the Northern Ireland team.”

Whyte is expected to be involved in the matches, having broken into the side shortly after his move to the U’s last summer.

The 23-year-old finished as the club’s second top-scorer, with a hat-trick against Shrewsbury Town last month taking him to nine goals.

And the winger is aiming to sharpen his finishing for O’Neill’s men.

He said: “I’ve had a load of chances every time I’ve played.

“I should have scored more than I have, especially when I got my first goal with my first touch, so I’ll definitely be looking to score more goals.”