Danny Grainger hopes Carlisle United will see his Workington Reds as a positive place to send young players on loan.

The ex-Blues captain hopes to tap into his close links with his former club in the coming season.

The two clubs met in a pre-season friendly on Saturday with United running out 3-0 winners.

Manager Grainger is continuing his efforts to build his squad for the start of what is hoped will be a 2022/23 NPL West promotion challenge.

United have loaned a host of players to Workington in the past and Grainger hopes the make the most of the connection.

READ MORE: In pictures: fans at Workington Reds v Carlisle United

“That’s something these pre-season games are good for,” he told the News & Star after Saturday’s game.

"I had a great conversation with [Simpson] before the game.

“We’re hoping Paul [Simpson] and Gav [Skelton] can look at it and feel they can send players here and know they’re going to get coached well in an environment that’s going to help them.

“Fingers crossed we can do that, if it’s right for both clubs, and we can use their players as much as possible.”

Grainger is hoping to add to his squad soon having recently secured the signings of ex-Carlisle left-back Charlie Birch and former Everton academy midfielder Bobby Carroll.

Reds are in action at Carlisle City tomorrow night (kick-off 7.30pm) in their latest pre-season outing.

Their manager, meanwhile, admitted it was a strange feeling taking on the club where he has such strong ties.

“It was a little bit surreal at times standing on the touchline against Carlisle United,” Grainger said.

“But I’m over the moon with what we did, and once the first whistle blew it was just about Workington Reds for me.”