Hughton oversaw Newcastle United's last promotion from the second tier, but warns they may find things tougher this time around.
Brighton & Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton has told The Argus that former club Newcastle United will be hot favourites for next season's Championship title, but says they should still be prepared to face some stiff competition.
Hughton was in charge of the Magpies side that secured promotion to the Premier League as champions in 2010, during an incredible season that saw them lose just four games on their way to amassing an impressive 102 points.
With Rafael Benitez at the helm, Newcastle are widely expected to make an instant return to the Premier League in much the same style as Hughton's class of 2010.
But the current Albion boss warns that his former employers are likely to find things harder this time around, although he admits that the signings made by the club have left them in a strong position for the season ahead.
He told The Argus: "I think they will find it hard because the league is hard. Ritchie and Gayle are two Premier League players but they know the Championship as well.
"The impression I get straight away from their purchases is they are buying to get promotion from the Championship.
"They have bought two very good players. Because of the financial clout they have I expect them to buy well for the Championship and how ever hard they find it one thing is guaranteed, it will be a tough place to go. I expect them to have a good season."
As well as Roberto Di Matteo's Aston Villa and former club Norwich City, Hughton also expects the likes of Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County, both of whom made the play-offs last season, to mount another challenge for promotion.
He added: "There are teams that will have a real go. I don't think Derby will stop until they achieve what they want to achieve. Sheffield Wednesday will also have no fear in recruiting this summer. They are two who in particular I think will have a real financial go to get promotion."