Captain Mike Blair insists Scotland can shatter England's RBS 6 Nations title hopes and offer some long-awaited proof that Frank Hadden's team are moving in the right direction.
But Blair has warned the only way Scotland can win Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash will be by cutting out the sloppy mistakes which have been all too common in their campaign so far - and adding a clinical finish to their promising build-up play.
Blair will lead the Scots for the second successive game at Murrayfield on Saturday, as Hadden starts with regular skipper Jason White on the bench.
The defeat to Ireland in Dublin last time out was made particularly painful by the 21-point margin which was a harsh reflection on Scotland’s contribution to the match.
Blair saw definite signs of improvement, after two very disappointing performances against France and Wales, but the 26-year-old was disappointed with Scotland’s failure to convert possession and pressure into points.
“It’s all about being a wee bit more clinical,” he said. “Ireland had five, maybe six, chances in the game against us and they scored five tries.
“We had opportunities, we were on their line a number of times, but couldn’t quite convert that into points.
“What I am talking about is coming away with points once we get into their 22, because the possession and territory stats we had against Ireland are no use without scoring.”
Blair stressed that individual errors in both attack and defence have been responsible for Scotland’s woes this season, rather than any identifiable flaw in the team’s game-plan.
He explained: “Against Ireland we held onto the ball for long periods of time, but weren’t clinical because of individual errors.
“And the defensive system would be perfect but then someone would just drop off a tackle or something like that. That sort of stuff is what is hindering us at the moment.
“It’s probably a mentality thing, but we’ve got enough experienced guys in the squad now to be able to trust the players around us.
“We’ve played together for a long time, and it is that trust we’ve got to continue to build - especially in defence."
“One of the advantages that the Ireland game had over the previous matches is that there were positives that you can take out of that game.
“This week has been more about tweaking a few things, whereas after the French and Welsh games we weren’t really sure about what direction to go because there were so many problems.
“The Six Nations is all about building momentum. “Two years ago we beat France first up at Murrayfield and we found it was very easy to build momentum from that."