London (AFP) – Nigel Pearson has been suspended as manager of Derby County, the English second-tier club announced on Tuesday, without providing an explanation.

The move came following a meeting between Pearson and club chairman Mel Morris, with Derby releasing a statement a matter of hours before their Championship game at Cardiff City.

“Derby County can confirm that manager Nigel Pearson will not be carrying out his duties at tonight’s game at the request of the club,” the statement read.

“Assistant manager Chris Powell will take charge of the team for this evening’s Sky Bet Championship match at Cardiff City. The club will make no further comment at this time.”

Former Leicester City manager Pearson, 53, joined Derby on a three-year contract during the close season.

Seen as promotion contenders prior to the season, Derby are currently 22nd in the 24-team table with one win from nine matches.

Pearson strongly criticised his players following last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Blackburn Rovers, saying they were “paralysed by fear”.