For Hughes his introduction to the world of the Lancashire derby was still a shock.
"The famous derbies are the ones that people know about and look forward to," reflected Manchester City manager Hughes this week.
"But for sheer intensity the one between Burnley and Blackburn stood out for me. I really wasn't expecting that and I was able to see both sides of it, as a manager and a player at Blackburn.
"It may not be as big as some in terms of the numbers of people involved but in terms of the percentage of population that have an emotional stake in it, its enormous.
"When we went to Burnley the security was very high. Police helicopters and everything. But someone still got on the pitch and tried to get at Robbie Savage. Maybe most people would have cheered the guy on to hit him!"