IT’S amazing what three points can do for morale among players and fans alike - but was Ipswich Town’s recent 4-1 win at home to Accrington Stanley the catalyst to a mini revival or is it just papering over the cracks?

Prior to Saturday’s game at Portman Road, recent poor performances showed how Paul Lambert’s men are a team that have learned nothing from last season’s relegation, failed to adapt and continually found no way of imposing themselves.

Not just beaten by more vibrant sides with a better, brighter and broader range of ideas but reduced to passivity in many games of note

So can Lambert’s men really go the distance after their first win since November and make up for lost ground in the League One promotion hunt?

Football at this time of year comes with ready-made excuses. The Christmas calendar hangover, the interchange of league and cup action and pitches that were carpets now becoming quagmires.

However, real as those concerns may be, the festive period was still ugly for Lambert and co because his Town side looked a shadow of their former selves earlier in the season.

The Tractor Boys collided into teams at the start of the season, letting no opposing men cross the threshold of their goal-line and firing in goals left, right and centre, albeit with a slight arrogance to their play - a big fish in a small pond ready to set the league on fire as they climbed the League One table.

But in recent weeks the same squad of players have fallen on their sword and lost their place at the summit, often looking like a bunch of strangers, giving away cheap goals and seemingly swapping their shooting boots for lead boots - a sorry state of affairs, to say the least.

Thus, it has become very clear that Lambert isn’t controlling his team.

Or, at least, that he doesn’t control the games in which they compete.

Whoever is picked in the latest lottery line-up before a game doesn’t get any better or worse once the 90 minutes is up.

Players aren't informed by their defeats or emboldened by their wins.

They carry the same set of strengths and weaknesses into every game they play but have no way of adapting them to League One’s unique and specific challenges.

They never become any wiser for their experiences, so it appears anyway.

And that cannot be good enough, not for a club of this size.

What Town have demonstrated recently is that unless an opponent exposes themselves to their counter – that one weapon they consistently carry – then their task can often become quickly hopeless.

Tweaking formations, attempting clever selections to suggest that someone is thinking particularly deeply about their plight is increasing as the weeks roll by.

So the problem isn’t that Ipswich Town aren’t as good as they were, unideal as that is.

No, the issue is really that Ipswich Town are no longer a protagonist as they were in the early months of the season.

They are subservient, not the alpha as the squad on paper suggests.

The latest January transfer window is a huge month for the club.

Investment from Marcus Evans into the playing staff must be made available to add sufficient quality.

He must not make the same mistake he made in January 2015 when Town were top of the Championship table and no quality player investments were made to help a promotion push.

Consistency is key in this division.

Winning formulas are built with consistent sides that know their strengths and weaknesses, something that a current Town starting 11 painfully lacks.

I fear that not becoming wise to such basics could be detrimental to potential promotion come the end of the campaign.

Against Accrington, Lambert fielded the same side in succession for the first time this season, the side that drew with Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park the week previous.

Are we now starting to see stability, does Lambert now know what his best team is?

One thing is for sure, it’s amazing what a settled side can give you, isn’t it?

My personal belief is that Lambert is the right man to lead the club forward but he may have to change his philosophy to get the best out of this current Ipswich side in the second half of the campaign.