The pair were team-mates for Wales as Hughes wound down his playing career and Bellamy revved up his, while Hughes has also managed the fiery frontman with profitable success at both Blackburn and Manchester City.
"I've got a lot of time for Craig," Hughes told The Sentinel. "He's one of the best professionals I've dealt with in terms of attitude to work and desire to improve.
"I enjoyed working with him, and playing with him when he was a good team-mate as well.
"He's had a great career, and the fact he's gone back to his hometown club and had such an impact for them will please him when he looks back on it.
"I just hope he doesn't play against us because when he's on the field of play you always sense something will happen."
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