Phil Vickery admits England are low on confidence and lacking momentum heading into Saturday's RBS 6 Nations finale against Ireland.
And the skipper has fired a warning to his squad that things have to improve.
England’s poor Calcutta Cup display against Scotland at Murrayfield at the weekend erased any lingering title hopes and confirmed a fifth successive season without Six Nations silverware.
Their next Test match after this weekend is a daunting appointment with New Zealand in Auckland on June 14.
Vickery said: “We, as a group of players, have to stand up this weekend.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Scotland. They played the conditions and did things smarter than we did, and you have to give them credit for that.
“We talked all last week about penalties, but we gave away stupid penalties. I think we would have had a better chance of winning if we’d actually never had the ball at all.
“If we had defended the whole game, I think we might have been closer.
“But we are not actually far away from being a bloody good team, I honestly believe that.
“I think we are low on confidence, I don’t doubt that for a second. When you are winning, losing, winning, losing, it doesn’t do a great deal for momentum.
“If you look at Wales, they are a classic example.
“They got off to a great start (against England), and have just ground it out and organised it and, all of a sudden, they are starting to player better and better because they’ve got momentum and confidence.
“Yes, they have got a good squad of players and a good bunch of coaches, but they’ve also got momentum.
“Once you get that momentum, it just rolls, rolls and rolls.
“If you had said to me at the start of this Six Nations that Wales would beat Ireland at Croke Park, it would have raised quite a few eyebrows.
“But the fact is they are very high on confidence and they have a chance of winning a Grand Slam at home this weekend.
“For us, some of it is not quick-fix and will take a little bit of time, but we have to get better. I look around and see some pretty special talent.
“We’ve got issues. There will always be player things with coaches about the way things are done, but I wouldn’t say there is anyone who wholly disagrees with the way we are playing.
“You are always trying to tinker and tweak things and make it better.”
Although England came unstuck in the Murrayfield mud, England coach Brian Ashton has made just one change of personnel to face Ireland, replacing fly-half Jonny Wilkinson with gifted Wasps youngster Danny Cipriani.
Vickery added: “There possibly could have been a case for making massive changes, which I think would probably have been a bit of a knee-jerk reaction.
“Brian and his coaches have chosen to give people another opportunity.”