Fulham's Oliver Norwood has hailed the experience of playing for Northern Ireland as he prepares to win his 50th cap.

The midfielder, who is on loan from Premier League new boys Brighton, says that he's delighted with how much the team has improved during his time with them.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Norwood said: "It's been a wonderful journey. I've enjoyed every single second of playing for Northern Ireland.

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - NOVEMBER 11: Oliver Norwood of Northern Ireland pictured during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Northern Ireland and Azerbaijan at Windsor Park on November 11, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

"The team has massively developed in my time. I remember my debut in Montenegro, we weren't really going anywhere.

"My first competitive start was Italy away and it was Nigel's [Worthington] last game in charge. We got beat 3-0 and there wasn't a great feel around the squad at the time."

Northern Ireland can confirm their place in the play-offs for the World Cup by avoiding a heavy defeat against Norway this evening, and Norwood says that his adventure with the national team has already been a career highlight.

He said: "What I've experienced in my short international career so far playing in the European Championships can be the pinnacle of any career and I've been lucky enough to be involved in that.

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"It would have never happened if I'd said no to Northern Ireland. If I'm honest, I'd never have played for England in a European Championship.

"If the opportunity arises for players, and I'm sure there are a few out there, we'd welcome people with open arms."