THE time has come for Scotland to lose the gallant loser tag and start winning some games.

That's pretty much the universal view around the country and according to Duncan Hodge, one of the assistant coaches, the view within the camp is identical.

"We want to win Test matches. We want to keep getting better and keep improving every week, and we are playing at home. That brings more than enough pressure," he said as the squad finished their preparations to face Italy today. "We just look week to week, it was the same France to Wales, we look at that game at home and it was a massive game that we were gutted to lose. This is another home game in front of a massive crowd, we are just trying to beat the team in front of us.

"It is a bit of a cliché, winning becomes a habit. We do have a young team. Compare us last week to Wales: did they have as many chances as us? Probably not. Did they take more and where they more clinical with what they had? Probably yes.

"That's where we need to grow up and bit. Down in the 22, we lost some shape and no-one denying that. It's part of growing up and learning and we need to put it right and translate that pressure into tangible points."

Hodge knows what it is like to face Italy under pressure having played in the 2001 match where they were trying to save face after the humiliation in Rome the previous season, Italy's first RBS Six Nations Championship match. His personal answer was an 18-point contribution to the 23-19 win and he is backing the current side to provide a smilarly emphatic response to defeats in the two opening matches of this season's campaign.

"Of the back of two defeats the supporters have seen positive stuff in there and a decent autumn. The crowd is a massive thing, a huge help and advantage. We need to play our part, start well and cut out some of the errors from the last two weeks. The teams we played in my opinion have had it slightly too easy," he added.