a lean patch

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a lean patch

A period of failure, decline, or poor performance or results. Almost every new business experiences a lean patch at some point or another.
See also: lean, patch
References in periodicals archive ?
He's had a lean patch of late and he struggled against Pakistan's spinner Saeed Ajmal in the winter," Boycott added.
But most good players, except for the real greats, will have gone through a lean patch at some point," Boycott said.