Hughes is well aware that a succession of managers struggled to step out of Sir Matt Busby’s shadow following his retirement, but insists that Ferguson will not allow the same mistake to happen.
"I think he’s well aware of what’s gone on before and maybe how that hindered a smooth transition," said the Stoke boss. "Sir Alex would never do anything to undermine David’s position. He was involved in the appointment so he’s not going to undermine it.
"If he ever felt just by being there that pressure was coming to bear on David then he’d do something about it, but I don’t anticipate that. It’s just a case of them needing to settle down and move on.
"I don’t know, I’ll tell you after the game. I’m sure it will feel a little bit strange not to see him walking down the touchline waving to the crowd like he always has done.
"It was always going to happen that he would leave his post at some point in time. He’s left them as reigning champions so they’re not in bad shape.
"I’m sure he feels it was the right time and it was time to go. He’s comfortable with the decision he’s made.
"He’s still in the background, he’s in the directors’ box like he was last night. I had a few words with him. It’s always good to see him again and he looked in good form. He hasn’t gone too far away."
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