HERE’S a question that may hit a raw nerve.

Have Ipswich Town fans been duped, almost hoodwinked, by the wave of PR spin since Paul Lambert became manager in late October?

Four different people made that remark to me during my afternoon at Portman Road on Saturday, almost surprised that supporters had been “taken in” by the Scot’s soundbites.

The suggestion is that he makes the right noises but is full of bluster, fortunate to have the public onside given his team’s lack of tangible progress.

In other words, to be blunt, he’s playing a game - saying the right things to buy himself time, patience and goodwill, deflecting attention from results and performances to keep fans off his back.

To be brutally honest, I hadn’t looked at it that way.

To me, Lambert is a decent manager who has been severely hamstrung by the sub-standard squad he inherited, not to mention lack of resources made available to strengthen.

I like him and believe he’s a good fit at this moment in time.

He took on an unbelievably hard job.

But the cold, hard facts make grim reading right now and it’s fair to say only minimal, if any, progress has been made since the autumn.

Town have played 16 games since Lambert arrived – 15 in the Championship and one in the FA Cup.

They’ve only won two (and one of those was hugely fortunate), drawn three and lost 11.

They’re still haunted by the same problems at both ends of the pitch – brittle defensively, blunt in attack – and with games sliding by, relegation now looks more certain than ever. So much for saving the club.

But are his hands tied?

Would a different, better manager get more from this group of players?

I’m honestly not sure and find it impossible to strike a balance between being fair and naïve.

As I say, I like him and think he’s done an admirable job in terms of reconnecting supporters with his team, rallying the fanbase and instilling pride and belief, despite the club’s appalling plight.

But I agree with the argument that there must be some substance to the soundbites.

Anyone can talk the talk and lavish supporters with praise but it’s about making progress and moving forward.

Otherwise it’s just hollow words. Cheap talk.

Lambert’s not a politician.

He answers questions directly but does he paint a distorted picture – suggesting performances are better than reality, exaggerating what little progress has been made?

Possibly so.

It’s about winning, not spinning, and Lambert’s men must start delivering on their promises soon. Before patience finally evaporates, along with his team’s chances of avoiding relegation.