Hughes admits the atmosphere in the North East gets the juices flowing for players and managers alike.
"Yes, it's a good stage," he told The Sentinel, "and at the moment they are a good side playing well, winning games and looking in good shape.
"But the good thing from our point of view is that we are in decent shape ourselves in terms of confidence.
"If you had to go to Newcastle with their confidence high and yours not so good you could come unstuck.
"But we are ok in that regard. If there was a good time to go, then hopefully this is it."
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