Phil Vickery insists England can bounce back from their unhappy autumn international campaign in their RBS 6 Nations clash against Wales.
The November Tests saw a decimated England labour to a 16-9 win over Argentina and suffer defeats to both Australia and New Zealand.
However, England manager Martin Johnson is expected to name a more seasoned side for Saturday's showdown, with Delon Armitage and Riki Flutey making returns from injury and Nick Easter and Simon Shaw also likely to start.
England and Wasps prop Vickery, who is ruled out of the tournament after undergoing neck surgery, believes the rejuvenated squad will help the home side make an impact at Twickenham this weekend.
"I am optimistic. There have been a lot of negative things written about the England team but I am excited. I think it has got the potential to be really good," said Vickery.
"England will come up against the best Welsh team there has been for a long time. They can't be negative.
"Whatever has happened in the past, just bin it. If you are going to play to a gameplan that is reasonably safe you will not stretch yourselves too much and you will not stretch the opposition. Then you get into a damage limitation exercise.
"Riki and Delon are guys with a bit more spark about them, guys who can talk.
"England this week should go out, make a real statement and lay their stall out. I am really hopeful."