Marcus Bignot is confident Chester with keep hold of key defender Reece Hall-Johnson for the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old’s current loan deal expires on Friday but Grimsby Town boss Russell Slade has declared himself ‘happy’ to allow the full-back to return to the Deva, with the two clubs hoping to agree on terms prior to Saturday’s clash with Gateshead.

“Between the two managers we’ve had the conversations, we’re happy with Reece remaining until the end of the season, it’s just a case of the two clubs coming to an agreement,” Bignot said.

“I did get a voicemail off Russell Slade on Wednesday night and I believe we’re near enough there.

“It’s the plan to get it done by Saturday.”

Bignot’s Blues have only lost one set of back-to-back matches since he took charge in mid-September and the 43-year-old maintains the belief his side will respond well to last week’s FA Trophy exit at lowly East Thurrock United.

“We’ve had a good response, which we generally have after a defeat, we’ve only lost once back to back since I’ve been here,” he added.

“We’ve now got to transfer that away form to home and turning our fortunes around. We’re believing in what we’re doing, the three away games since the turn of the year have given us renewed hope but it’s important we don’t forget the reasons for those performances.

“With this group it’s more physchological. We’ve made a good start to 2018 in the league and we’re looking to continue that now.”