PAUL RUTHERFORD admits Sunday's cross border derby against arch rivals Chester can't come quick enough.

Wrexham's promotion challenge was put on hold last weekend as the game at Ebbsfleet United was postponed because of the wintry weather.

It will be 15 days since Wrexham last played when the Blues arrive at The Racecourse and Rutherford can't wait for derby day.

"We would have liked the derby to be a bit earlier," said Rutherford.

"It has been frustrating, the weather has not been ideal; it has been a nightmare for training, a nightmare for games so the Chester game can't come round quick enough."

Wrexham go into the clash unbeaten in 12 matches but nine have ended in draws, leaving the seventh placed Reds eight points behind leaders Macclesfield Town.

Chester are battling to avoid relegation and although Rutherford is expecting a tough test, the midfielder insists Wrexham, who won November's reverse fixture 1-0, need three points to boost the title challenge.

"It would be nice not to just do the double over Chester but we need the three points as well," said Rutherford.

"We are coming to the crunch time of the season, everyone is fighting for points for different objectives and hopefully we are on course for ours.

"We need to get the three points on the board to get right back in that race for top spot."

Rutherford says Wrexham have to be prepared for a battle before letting their football do the talking in a bid to clinch a second win of the season over Chester.

"I don't think there is a great deal between teams in this division," said Rutherford.

"Chester are obviously in a little bit of a bad run at the moment but it doesn't mean that we take them lightly.

"We don't view them any less than what we would view Macclesfield or Tranmere.

"It is going to be a tough game, it is going to be a battle, and first and foremost they are the criteria that we need to meet.

"We need to make sure that we out-battle them before we start turning it into a football match."

Wrexham captain Shaun Pearson's goal separated the sides at The Deva Stadium with resolute defending from the visitors keeping Chester at bay.

"It probably summed up the early part of our season," said Rutherford. "We were stubborn and we were resolute.

"We probably didn't create a lot of chances that day but we took the one that mattered, dug our heels in and made sure we got the three points."

Rutherford, who began his career at Chester City, joined Wrexham in the summer of 2016 after spells with Barrow and Southport.

No stranger to facing the Blues, Rutherford expects to be a target of the boo-boys but it is something he thrives on.

"I don't get a very good reception off them but it is not something I am particularly bothered about," added Rutherford.

"It only motivates you on the day, you want to shove it back in their face.

"Not that you need any motivation but it is an extra motivation to go and prove a point, and get what you need out of the game.

"It is a chapter that is closed for me. I am just excited to be part of Wrexham and hopefully we get the three points that we need irrespective of what Chester need."