The 34-year-old's top flight career ended seven years ago, after he was jailed for six years for causing death by dangerous driving.
He served half of that sentence and is rebuilding his shattered career, first with Oldham and now County.
Hughes said: "It definitely gives me a lift.
"When we knocked Sunderland out, I just wanted to show people I can still do it.
"I'm enjoying it here. I scored 33 goals last season and have no regrets coming here."
Hughes is mates with City keeper Joe Hart and says those questioning the England keeper after a couple of high-profile mistakes are wrong.
He said: "Mistakes won't affect him. He's the best in the league."