Tony Pulis has warned the current Middlesbrough squad isn't good enough to win promotion.
Boro will be forced to dip into the loan market after attempts to sign Muhamed Besic and Yannick Bolasie collapsed on deadline day.
Pulis wanted to resign Besic, 25, following the Bosnian midfielder’s impressive loan spell at the end of last season, a £6million had been agreed but the deal fell through due to a disagreement over agent fees.
Boro then missed out on Millwall duo George Saville and Jed Wallace, while Everton were only willing to let Bolasie leave on a permanent deal.
The deadline for permanent signings passed at 5pm last night but EFL clubs can still bring in loan signings until August 31.
A disappointed Pulis said: "The squad isn’t good enough to get promotion. It hasn’t got the depth or the quality.
"We missed out last year in the play-offs because we lacked a little bit of quality in certain areas, and I don’t think we’ve improved that so far.
"When I came into the football club, the club had spent a lot of money and there were a lot of things that had to be achieved.
"If you look at the seven months I’ve been at the football club, one of the things we tried to do was get in the play-offs. I think we were too far away to win automatic promotion, but we got in the play-offs and just fell short of that.
"Then we wanted to improve the players we have here, and I think you only have to look at Adama [Traore] and his performances and everything else.
"Then, we wanted to generate enough money from incomings to put the club on a sounder base.
"Again, I think we’ve achieved that with the sales of the players that have gone over the past few weeks, with [Ben] Gibson, [Patrick] Bamford and Adama.
"What we wanted to do - and what we needed to do - was improve in terms of bringing players in.
"We’ve not managed to do that, so that’s a disappointment.
"It’ll be a disappointment for everybody at the football club," added the Boro boss ahead of the home game against Birmingham City, managed by former boss Garry Monk.
On the Besic deal, Pulis added: "I’d love to have him back.
"But I don't want to put any blame on Mo. It’s not just Mo, there were eight or nine players who fell through for all sorts of reasons.
“We’ve had a real positive start on the pitch.
“That disappointment’s got to be washed away, and the supporters have to get behind the boys.”