British & Irish Lions hopeful Scott Murray insists that the Scotland team are remaining positive ahead of their Six Nations clash with Italy on Saturday.
Scotland failed to win a game in last season’s tournament and after defeats by France and Ireland, the visit of Italy to Murrayfield offers Matt Williams’ side their best chance of victory this year.
But Murray denies the pessimism that surrounds the Scottish side is getting to the squad and claims the players are oblivious to it all.
He said: "I don’t think (coach) Matt Williams has been affected by the gloom and doom surrounding Scottish rugby at the moment.
"Obviously he is frustrated, as we are, but he is trying to keep us upbeat because he has seen in patches the way we can play when we are confident. We just need to keep it going for 80 minutes.
"And the players do not read the papers. When the Six Nations are over we can have a look at it but at the moment we are in our own little kind of bubble and we are trying to concentrate on beating Italy and do the best we can."
Murray, one of the most experienced players in Williams’ side, confessed that he sometimes struggles to cope with the relentless physical and mental demands of modern-day rugby.
He said: "It is tough. When I was a young player you came in and just played your rugby, now I have got a bit more responsibility.
"It has been a relief to have a couple of days off in the last week or so because not only are you training hard, you are preparing hard."