England coach Eddie Jones believes his side are "moving in the right direction" despite suffering back-to-back Six Nations defeats to Scotland and France.
Hopes of a third successive title have been left in tatters over the past two matchdays and Saturday's anticipated St Patrick's Day decider at Twickenham will now only determine whether champions Ireland can complete the Grand Slam.
But Jones has cautioned against being overly critical of a team who had previously only lost one of 25 Tests under the Australian, who took over following England's woeful 2015 Rugby World Cup showing.
"It's interesting, in 2015 these players were no good, in 2016 they were terrific, in 2017 they were world beaters and now after two games they're no good again. They're good players and teams have ups and downs," he told Sky Sports.
"I feel we're moving in the right direction. Sometimes the results indicate it's not moving in the right direction, but I think it is.
"I always thought we were going to go through a difficult period at some stage and we're better off doing that now.
"We want a performance on Saturday that we're all proud of. I'm not happy but I think we're moving in the right direction, but sometimes results don't go your way."
England were particularly criticised for their performance at the breakdown in both Edinburgh and Paris.
"It's a difficult thing for the players," he commented. "They're giving it 100 per cent and the breakdown has changed a lot in the game in the last three or four weeks and we haven't adapted well to that.
"There are a number of reasons for that, but the only reason that we can solve at the moment is our ability to be better at it, and to be better at it we need some technical skill and we need a greater intent of the players to be aggressive in that area.
"I don't think [there's a need to change personnel]. I think we've got the best players here."
Jones revealed Elliot Daly would undergo a scan on an injured foot on Monday, while captain Dylan Hartley could return from a calf problem.
"We still don't know [about Hartley]," added Jones. "We'll find out more tomorrow. He'll run a bit faster and then we'll make a decision on whether he's going to be available or not.
"He'll more than likely come back into the team [if he's fit], but we'll have to make a selection call on that. It'll depend on what the team needs."
|Santos not interested in Ronaldo to China links|
|French Open prize money up to €2.2m for singles champions|
|WATCH: Messi scores superb solo strike in Argentina training|
|Zimbabwe´s World Cup hopes all but over after UAE loss|
|Koeman names Van Dijk new Netherlands captain|
|Dybala and Icardi´s World Cup hopes doused by Sampaoli|
|Pierre-Paul joins revamped Bucs pass rush in trade|
|I almost s*** myself - Pique on Keane rant|
|UEFA order PSG to close Auteuil stand|
|Cummins puts Australia in control as South Africa collapse after tea|
|Surgery on both elbows for ´different animal´ Parker|
|Director of rugby Kennedy leaves London Irish|
|Brilliant Bale basks in Wales record|
|Romo hits back-to-back birdies on PGA Tour debut|
|Neuer needs to play to make Germany´s World Cup squad – Low|
|All we can do is take it on the chin - Bayliss responds to Auckland humiliation|
|China 0 Wales 6: Record-breaking Bale leads demolition job in perfect start for Giggs|
|Curry closer to return than Durant - Kerr|
|Alonso expects McLaren to be at ´lowest level´ in Melbourne|
|Serena´s conqueror and a new tennis superstar - who is Naomi Osaka?|
|Bale becomes Wales´ record goalscorer with China hat-trick|
|Hamilton warns Ricciardo not to rock Red Bull boat|
|It could have been worse! England´s lowest Test totals|
|The ´reality for people with a brain´ is Manchester United are in transition, Mourinho claims|
|Black Caps seamer savours Boult from the blue|
|West Ham ban disruptive fans for life after Burnley chaos|
|Storm respond by beating Cowboys|
|Ten wickets in 79 minutes - a timeline of England´s Auckland horror show|
|England´s bleak winter sinks to new low|
|Iniesta hints at post-World Cup international retirement|
|All we do is talk s*** - Pique goads Madrid stars over WhatsApp|
|England like rabbits in the headlights - Bayliss|
|Euro 2016 humiliation helped England, claims Dele Alli|
|58 all out! Shambolic England overshadow Broad milestone|
|Iniesta confident of two more years in Barcelona starting XI|
|Kane probably the best striker in the world - Maguire|
|Broad strikes again – the Opta data behind the England bowler´s 400th wicket|
|Wenger told Wilshere he could leave Arsenal|
|An India hat-trick and THAT Ashes annihilation: Broad´s finest Test spells|
|Broad removes Latham to claim 400th Test wicket|
|If you play for Atletico, you must be committed – Koke responds to Griezmann speculation|
|LeBron´s historic night leads Cavs past Raptors, Howard tallies rare 30-30|
|Del Potro, Cilic loom for Haase and Herbert|
|Giggs: Bale will feature for Wales in China Cup|
|Serena releases statement after skipping media following Miami loss|
|England bowled out for 58 in 130-year Test low|
|Maradona: Messi doesn´t have to prove himself by winning World Cup|
|Cavs tally worst defensive half of season against Raptors|
|McIlroy, Johnson stunned on day one in Austin|
|Cristiano Ronaldo hasn´t asked to leave Real Madrid amid China links – Perez|
|Oakland Athletics allowing fans to pick price of tickets, all proceeds to charity|
|Ginobili: Spurs not expecting Kawhi Leonard to return this season|
|Trout, Angels brass confident Shohei Ohtani will be a star|
|Osaka wanted to impress Serena with stunning Miami Open win|
|Manchester United apply for professional women´s team|
|Bolt hopes fellow Jamaican breaks his world record|
|Bolt a fan of Ronaldo, but compares his talent to Messi´s|
|Outstanding Osaka knocks out Williams in Miami opener|
|Del Potro ´tired´ heading into Miami Open|
|Heynckes definitely leaving at end of season, claims Ze Roberto|
|Joshua tells Wilder to be ´realistic´ in negotiations|
|Shaw issue a distraction from Manchester United´s failures, says Neville|
|Hamsik withdraws from Slovakia squad|
|RFU backs Jones despite awful Six Nations|
|Hamilton eyes Melbourne pole record, 100 club for Vettel? - Australian GP in numbers|
|Griezmann backs Pogba to prove doubters wrong for France|
|Sanchez ´expected something better´ from Manchester United move|
|WATCH: Thomas conjures up great escape in Austin|
|Javi Martinez in the dark over Spain squad omission|
|Jones should have managed England workload - Flood|