Coming under fire for not firing, attack coach Mike Catt maintains Ireland are on the right track.

The former England centre was brought in by Andy Farrell ahead of last year's Guinness Six Nations campaign and the team finished as joint top try-scorers in the competition with 17.

However, despite positive possession and territory statistics from their opening two games, in defeats to Wales and France the side have produced a paltry two tries, once of which came after a lucky bounce.

"Every team wants to score four or five tries in every game, they want to go out and express themselves," said Catt when asked about concerns over Ireland's blunt attack ahead of this Saturday’s game against Italy in Rome.

"Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Where we currently are, we firmly believe the way we're going is the right way.

"We probably could have scored two or three extra tries against Wales with 14 men with the opportunities we created. Against France as well.

"It's about making sure that at this level, players understand that you have to nail what you create. We've obviously been pretty disappointed in terms of our finishing, but ultimately the players have got that right for this weekend. 

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"We carry on doing what we're doing. Like I've always said, it's a decisions-based game.

"Rugby is about decisions you make. We're happy with what we're creating but then it's the final pass or the final decision or putting ourselves in the right part of the pitch that can create pressure on the opposition.

"I don't think we did that well enough against France so these are all things that the players will have to make sure they get right for the weekend. 

"For us, we believe we're going in the right direction and with all the players available now injury-free, we believe that we can pick a team that can really take a game to Italy." 

Asked if the criticism has been justified, the 49-year-old said: "Yeah. If you're not scoring tries, everybody has got room to criticise, haven't they?

"I haven't seen one headline or read one article [with my name in it]. 

"I’m doing my job and I am thoroughly enjoying my job. That’s how I put my focus into it.

"My job is working with the team and making sure we perform.

"Unfortunately, we haven’t done that to the standard that everybody else expects us to and we expect to. I will continue doing the job and won’t worry about the stories on the outside.

"Winning at this level is ultimately the be all and end all.

"From a pressure point of view, I see it as us continuing what we need to do to make the players better, to understand how we want the game to be played and ultimately we will see the results on the back of it."

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