DARLINGTON are hoping to bring Tyrone O’Neill back to the club on loan from Middlesbrough.

The striker enjoyed a fruitful spell with Quakers earlier in the campaign during which time he became an increasingly important member of Alun Armstrong’s first-choice XI and scored seven goals.

He was due to be on loan to Quakers until January, but was recalled early when injuries hit hard at the Riverside.

As Boro were without a game on Saturday, O’Neill was at Blackwell Meadows to watch his former team-mates’ 1-1 draw with Brackley Town.

“I’ve spoken to Boro,” confirmed Armstrong. “Gaz Martin’s loan is up on March 22nd so we’ll be lighter in the front areas and everyone knows I love Tyrone.

“As a kid and as a player he is someone you want in this environment. He’s keen so it’s up to Middlesbrough, and hopefully he’ll give us a nudge for the end of the season.

“He’s their player and he’s been in and around the first team since he went back, but I’ve spoken to him and he’s keen to get among real football again.

“I think it will benefit him for the rest of the season, and fingers crossed we can get that done.”

Two of O’Neill’s goals for Darlington came in an FA Cup win away to Tamworth to set up a match away to Walsall in the first round, but he was unable to play in the highly-anticipated match because just four days beforehand Jonathan Woodgate recalled him to sit on the bench for Boro.

The 20-year-old has played for Boro’s under-23s regularly and been on the bench for the Championship strugglers on several occasions, making a solitary appearance as a late substitute in a 4-0 defeat away to Leeds United.

Darlington, tenth in the table and seen points adrift of the play-offs, are away to 14th-placed AFC Telford on Saturday.