Derby County: Chris Powell to stay as caretaker after Nigel Pearson suspension

Chris Powell
Derby moved up to 20th in the Championship table after their win over Cardiff

Chris Powell will remain in charge of Derby County for Saturday's match against Reading following the dramatic suspension of boss Nigel Pearson.

Pearson was removed from his role by owner Mel Morris hours before Tuesday's 2-0 win against Cardiff City, pending a club investigation.

The Rams have refused to comment beyond a brief initial statement.

"I have spoken to Mel and said I am very proud to lead the team," 47-year-old Powell told BBC Radio Derby.

"He said he wants me to and I will do it until I am told otherwise."

BBC Radio Derby also reported that the decision to suspend Pearson was taken pending the club's investigation into his behaviour and he is not expected to return as manager.

Derby's poor start to the season has seen them slip to third from bottom after a six-game winless run before the victory at the Cardiff City Stadium.

An emotional Powell, who was brought to the club as assistant boss by Pearson soon after the former Leicester City manager took over in the summer, said it was a "tough situation".

"I am close to Nigel; he is the reason why I am here," Powell added.

"He is a fine man and I have learned a lot from him but we had to get on with the game. I have spoken to him but it is not the time or place to talk about that now.

"The club will make further statements. I will just make sure the players are focused on the football."

Powell said the players held a meeting following Saturday's 2-1 home defeat against fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers - which was encouraged by the management group - and responded magnificently to earn their second league win of the season against Cardiff.

"The gameplan and the team we all decided, along with Nigel. We always felt we were going to get a performance and what a performance it was," Powell added.

"It has been tough for us all. We have been a bit unfortunate, but results are what they are and you have to win games and get points.

"Derby County should be very proud of their team. In the circumstances it could have been quite easy to go the other way and blame what has happened, but they haven't.

"They have responded magnificently and all we can do is build on what we have done."

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