Hughton - who led United back to the Premier League as Championship winners - is confident his ex-sidekick will deliver.
The ex-Spurs hero told the Scottish Sun: "Alan did a very good job for us for somebody who is not far off a playing career.
"He brought a lot of the enthusiasm he had as a player into his coaching position. Alan was very enthusiastic and I think if you are like that you have every chance of doing well.
"Last season was good for us, there was very good morale. Alan was part of that and it was nice to have him around.
"He realises as a young coach you have to show enthusiasm to players you're working with. He also knows you have to learn every day and I always felt he had a very good aptitude for work.
"He has a thirst for knowledge, a desire to be the best he can be.
"Alan was always keen to listen and learn from myself, Colin Calderwood and Jim Barron in the first team."