Stoke City can pile more pressure on Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew by returning to winning ways in the Premier League on Monday.
Pardew's future has been the subject of plenty of speculation in recent weeks, with Newcastle having started the 2014-15 season in much the same way as they finished the previous campaign, with a string of disappointing results.
A run of five league games without a win has left the north-east side rooted to foot of the table ahead of their visit to the Britannia Stadium.
However, Newcastle may take heart from the fact that Stoke have yet to consistently match their usual high standards at home so far this term.
Typically strong at their own ground since gaining promotion to the top flight in 2008, Stoke lost only three league games in front of their own fans last season and recorded notable victories over Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.
This time around, they are still seeking a first goal and point on home turf, having been beaten 1-0 by Aston Villa and Leicester City.
Hughes will be eager for Stoke to give their fans something to cheer on Monday, but the former Manchester City boss has expressed sympathy for the position Pardew currently finds himself in.
"The expectation and the focus, you sometimes think it's unfair because a lot of people don't know why there isn't a good performance," Hughes told The Sentinel.
"You can't go out and say these are the reasons because you have to protect the club and sometimes that's to the detriment of yourself. But it goes with the territory and you have to accept it."
Stoke's Stephen Ireland could make his first Premier League appearance since the opening-day defeat to Villa, after shaking off a rib injury to impress in Tuesday's 2-1 League Cup victory at Sunderland.
Left-back Marc Muniesa also shone in that game, scoring twice, and he may dislodge Erik Pieters from the hosts' line-up.
Jonathan Walters is set to be available once again after injury but Geoff Cameron (hernia) remains sidelined.
Pardew will hope to include Papiss Cisse, Tim Krul and Yoan Gouffran after all three players missed Newcastle's midweek League Cup win at Crystal Palace with a sickness bug.
Cisse returned from a lengthy lay-off with a fractured kneecap by scoring twice as a substitute in a 2-2 draw against Hull City last weekend.
The Senegal forward has now been challenged to recapture the form that he showed when grabbing 13 goals in 14 Premier League appearances during his first season at St James' Park back in 2011-12.
Pardew said: "He was very unfortunate last season because I don't think he had that much opportunity.
"This team will create more chances and if he can capture the form of two or three years ago, it will be a massive bonus. He's a great character and we hope he can give us goals."
Mehdi Abeid is suspended, while Siem de Jong (thigh), Rolando Aarons (hamstring) and Davide Santon (knee) remain sidelined for Newcastle, who have been beaten on their last two visits to the Britannia.comments