MIDDLESBROUGH'S loan signings have returned to their parent clubs early but Tony Mowbray will not be afraid to dip in to the temporary transfer market again next season.

Josh McEachran, Ishmael Miller and Sammy Ameobi have all left Teesside even though their short-term deals are not officially over until Middlesbrough have played their last game.

While all three have impressed at some stage, none have had the impact hoped for at the Riverside Stadium.

McEachran and Ameobi are both well regarded at their clubs, Chelsea and Newcastle United, but neither was able to dominate in the Championship like their early performances suggested.

But Mowbray, knowing how effectively the likes of Hull City, Watford and Bolton have used the market, has not been put off using the loan system again and is consider his options for the summer.

He has targets at the Premier League's leading clubs in mind, but fears he will not be able to come up with deals as early as he would like because of a tendency from clubs to delay making firm decisions until the start of the top-flight campaign.

"You speak to big clubs, they want to take their young players on pre-season with them to the United States, China or wherever they are going," said Mowbray.

"They want to give them a taste of the first team and then send them out on loan, but by then we will have started our season, probably had two matches.

"Ideally we would get what we want done over the summer and when we go back to training on June 24 we have the new players and the loan players are here for the whole year.

"That doesn't really happen, though, because the big clubs prefer to see how their players have come back. They want to know if they have grown an inch or are stronger than last season.

"And some other managers favour their ex-players who are managing at different clubs, so sometimes you don't get the choice you would like. That's the sort of thing you have to deal with and it all means you might not want who you want when you want."

Midfielder McEachran, 20, leaves the Riverside with the experience of 38 matches, but his bright start never developed into anything more than that and he was disappointing after Christmas.

Miller returns to Nottingham Forest with six goals in 16 starts and 14 substitute appearances, but has never really commanded a regular starting spot during a campaign also hit with injuries.

And Ameobi did not add to the stunning goal he scored on his debut against Cardiff on March 2 in any of his eight other outings.

Bright starts and poor endings have been the mark of Boro's season and Mowbray has looked at every aspect of the way his squad is managed and ran to try to avoid a repeat of the collapse next season.

His tactics - specifically how he alters his team's approach to suit opponents - have been under greater scrutiny because of the situation Boro are in ahead of the final game of the season at Hillsborough this Saturday.

Mowbray said: "I understand why fans question tactics. Yet if you want to go direct without a fit 6ft centre-forward or a more dynamic man to win second balls, what's the point in changing tactics?

"You build squads and you do need to build a squad with different players who are competitive and combative. You also need more technical players in a squad as well to mix it up.

"Tactics questions are pertinent because of the situation we are in. I would like to think we understand when to be direct, when to play a different type of game, like we have in every game.

"Yet we get criticised for changing tactics sometimes, I get asked why? You can't win all football matches, so ultimately you do it your own way. Inevitably when you lose matches, somebody else has the answer and you have to concentrate on what you believe."

Former Newcastle midfielder Kieron Dyer is another not returning next season. After informing Stephen McManus he will become a free agent at the end of his deal, Dyer has now been told the same.