Chris Powell says his time in charge of Huddersfield Town will be invaluable in his new role as assistant manager of Championship rivals Derby County.

The 46-year-old former Rams player is number two to Nigel Pearson at Pride Park.

Powell has been out of management since his sacking by Town last November after 14 months at the helm.

The former Charlton Athletic chief says he spent the time wisely.

“It was really good for me with regards to re-educating myself, travelling, watching football, doing media work, speaking at universities and speaking in schools,” he explained.

“I even coached in a prison!”

Now former England left-back Powell, who worked with Pearson at Leicester City, says the time is right to return.

“I needed to be ready when the right opportunity came along,” he added.

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“I have been a manager in my own right. At Charlton, we won League I in my first full season (2011-12) and went very close to making the play-offs in that first year in the Championship. So I know what it takes.

“Having been a number one I was looking to be a number one again but coming to Derby is an absolute no brainer.

“I know I will manage again in the future but I feel this is a good fit for me.

“Nigel and I have spoken about how things will work.

“I suppose the added bonus for both of us is I have actually been a manager so I will most of the time know what he is thinking, what he is feeling on a Monday after a game, and I feel that will help.

“At this point in my career I actually feel I would like to see how this role fits with me.”

Pearson, 52, has spent a season out of the game having been sacked by Leicester last summer.

Derby axed Paul Clement in February, having only appointed him last summer.

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Darren Wassall stepped up from academy director to interim head coach.

But Derby lost out to Hull City in the play-off semi-finals.