SCOTLAND assistant coach Paul Collingwood has warned England that their miserable start to the World Cup could yet get worse.
After heavy back-to-back defeats England will look to get their campaign back on track against Scotland in Christchurch on Monday.
But Collingwood believes Scotland, who have never won a World Cup match, are capable of beating an England team he thinks is “playing at about 30 or 40 per cent of their potential”.
Scotland have already shown they are no pushovers, after running New Zealand far closer than England managed in their World Cup opener, while they fell just short of beating West Indies in their final warm-up match.
“There’s real confidence and belief we can get a win. It’s genuine because the guys are getting closer and closer against international opposition,” Collingwood told the International Cricket Council’s website.
“We fought all the way to the end against New Zealand and it was only a three-wicket margin and we should have won against the West Indies the week before so we’re getting there.
“That’s going to be an amazing feeling if we can get that first-ever World Cup win under our belt, there’s no better time than against England. That would mean so much to Scottish cricket.
“We’ll cause problems because we know we have the skill levels and the approach and our first win is just around the corner.
“Hopefully the guys will be singing ‘Flower of Scotland’ in the dressing room come Monday.”
Collingwood has been critical of England at this World Cup and earlier this week suggested the pressure was mounting on coach Peter Moores to keep his job.
England can hardly afford any more slip-ups in their remaining four pool-stage games if they are to reach the quarter-finals, although Collingwood suspects Moores’ hopes of reaching the knockout stages might already be over.
“You can make a change here and there but it’s almost as if the damage has been done,” he said.
“Two years ago England and New Zealand were probably on a par but now the gap is so much because they’ve taken an aggressive approach and built confidence and momentum by making that a success.”
Collingwood captained England to their only major global tournament success at the 2010 World Twenty20 and he remains in touch with the county game after helping Durham to the Royal London One-Day Cup title as a player last summer.
The 38-year-old thinks England’s selection has been wrong so far, highlighted by a lack of power in the batting.
“England has got the most powerful batting line-up we’ve ever had if we pick players like Ravi Bopara in the middle-order and Alex Hales up the top,” he added.
“County cricket is producing some very good attacking players like Jason Roy at Surrey. The one-day game is going that way and it’s almost like we don’t want to take risks.”
He also feels some sympathy for Eoin Morgan, who has struggled for form in his first tour as the full-time one-day captain.
Morgan was handed the role just before Christmas after Alastair Cook was axed from the captaincy following his lean tour of Sri Lanka.
“I really do feel for Eoin Morgan,” Collingwood said.
“He’s taken over the captaincy right at the last minute and he’s carrying the can for a lot of the work that’s gone on over the past year.
“I think he can be a Brendon McCullum in the future in the way he’ll want the team to move forward and get the right players into the right positions.
“McCullum has been in charge of (New Zealand) for nearly two years now and he’s put his stamp on them and they’ve grown under his leadership and he’s getting the best out of his players.”
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