Former captain Jason White believes Scotland could easily have been competing for the six nations crown rather than attempting to avoid the wooden spoon.
Vern Cotter’s men followed the opening day 15-8 defeat by France in Paris with another narrow 26-23 loss against Wales at Murrayfield on Sunday.
Next up for the Scots is fellow strugglers Italy, who have also lost both of their opening matches, but White – capped 77 times for his country – believes there are still reasons to feel positive about the team’s progress.
He said: “I think we could quite easily have been sitting here with two victories and at the top of the pile.
“In international sport, the margins between winning and losing are so fine. In Paris, France had a penalty which bounced in off the post. We had a penalty that hit the post and bounced out.
“It was a similar story against Wales as we played some great rugby, but we just didn’t get the victory.
“Ultimately that is what teams are judged on in international sport.
“It is a massive disappointment that we have not won either match, but there is lots to build on.
“The game against Italy is going to be huge, but if we play in a similar way to the way we have been then I believe we can get a victory.”
Scotland were dealt a further blow yesterday when forwards Richie Gray and Gordon Reid were both been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.
Castres lock Gray damaged a tendon in his arm during Sunday’s defeat by Wales, while Reid tore his medial knee ligament.
Gray is expected to be unavailable for selection for the next three to four months, while Scotland’s medical team are yet to say how long Reid will be sidelined for.
The Scots had already lost prop Jon Welsh, who scored a try against Wales, with a fractured hand.
Scotland could also face Italy without stand off Finn Russell who was cited for a dangerous tackle on Welshman Dan Biggar on Sunday.
But despite these setbacks, White still believes a victory against Italy at Murrayfield on February 28 remains a very realistic goal.
He added: “I have been really impressed by the Gray brothers so it is really disappointing Richie has picked up an injury.
“But somebody’s misfortune always creates an opportunity for someone else.
“Richie has almost played continuously since the Lions tour so this will give him the chance to get some rest prior to the World Cup later this year.
“There is good strength in depth in the Scotland squad so I think we will be fine for the final three games.”