Boro's hopes of a swift return to the Barclays Premier League in the wake of relegation at the end of the 2008-09 season have been dashed and Mowbray knows chairman Steve Gibson has had little choice but to rein in their spending.
He told the club's official website: "The fall-out from this club losing its Premier League status is £40-£50million revenue. If you don't have the money, then you can't pay the big wages. It's not rocket science, it's economics.
"But, at the same time, we have to put a team out that can compete and excite the fans. We have to strive to do that. It's a challenge but one we will tackle with relish.
"The chairman has done amazing things for this football club in the past and I'm sure he will do amazing things again but we have to have a level of reality. What we have to do is find highly talented players for smaller amounts of money."