LOUIS GRAY wanted to go out on loan to get much-needed game-time and the goalkeeper jumped at the chance to join a Chester side challenging for promotion.

The 24-year-old has joined the Blues from League Two outfit Carlisle United on an initial 28-day loan deal.

After starting his career with hometown club Wrexham, Gray had a spell with Everton before joining Carlisle in 2018 but he has been restricted to just three Football League Trophy games this season with the Cumbrians.

Eager to get some games under his belt, Gray says the fact that Chester are fourth in National League North and on course to secure a play-off spot sealed the deal.

"I had conversations with the Carlisle gaffer (Chris Beech) and I said I wanted to go out on loan and get games under my belt with the season coming to an end," said Gray.

"Chester were on the phone straight away and I could not turn it down as they are up the top and challenging for promotion.

"It is good to get game time anyway but it is even better when the team has got something to play for and is going for promotion.

"I am looking forward to the challenge and can't wait to get started."

Gray admits it has been frustrating playing back-up to Carlisle stopper Adam Collin and he had no qualms about joining Wrexham's arch rivals.

"It is the life of a goalkeeper, only one can play," said Gray.

"It has been frustrating but it is the business end of the season and it will be good to be getting games under my belt.

"I was born in Wrexham but I am a Carlisle player and I want to go to Chester and do a job."

Gray has set his sights on ousting Chester's first choice goalkeeper Russ Griffiths and becoming a regular starter for Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson's Blues during the run-in.

"I have had numerous conversations with the gaffers which have been positive," said Gray.

"I am looking to go there, play every game and win every game."

Gray was denied the opportunity to make his Blues debut as Saturday's game against Gateshead at The Deva Stadium was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

Chester head to bottom of the table Bradford Park Avenue this weekend for another big game in the push for promotion.

"It was disappointing that Saturday's game was off," said Gray.

"We have got Bradford so it will be a good test but they are all big games now.

"Chester lost last Tuesday but they were on a good run and when you are at the top end of the table, every game matters."

Chester are targeting a return to the National League where neighbours Wrexham are battling to avoid relegation.

Gray hopes both teams are successful and achieve their targets.

"After every Carlisle game I look for Wrexham's score," added Gray.

"I keep tabs and a few mates are season ticket holders.

"I want them to stay up and Chester to get promoted."