Hughes is determined to make the most of pre-season under Paul Clement, getting himself into a position where he can be effective as soon as the more serious competitive games start in around a month.
“All footballers will tell you that pre-season isn’t the greatest, but at the same time we know how important it is for getting us in the best shape possible for the new season,” he told dcfc.co.uk.
“Whilst we are all looking forward to that first game at Bolton on 8 August, we are just looking forward to getting back out on the pitch and that will include the first pre-season game when we travel down to Grimsby.”
Hughes has a key role to play
Hughes has a far greater amount of experience than many will give him credit for and that makes him important for the start of the season.
He’s an honest player and if he makes it through pre-season without any issues, Clement knows what he’s going to get from the midfielder by injecting him into the middle of the team.
He’s consistent and a player that any opposition side needs to keep an eye on regardless of the calibre of the match.
Pre-season results important but not vital
The important thing for fans to remember with regards to Derby’s pre-season is that the matches are predominantly for building the fitness of all players.
Results are important as they breed momentum and a positive mentality, but they aren’t the main priority for Clement or players like Hughes as they prepare for more competitive games.