Nottingham Forest face Coventry City this weekend and he could make a bold selection regarding Jack Colback during the opening weekend.
The Reds won’t have a new player in their ranks going into the curtain-raiser. Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath is the only new addition to the Forest squad this summer.
In Colback, however, Hughton might have a player who is desperate to prove a point over the coming nine months.
The midfielder could find himself in an unusual position this weekend though as the boss susses out who will play at left-back.
Yuri Ribeiro was released on a free at the end of last season, whilst Tyler Blackett is recovering from surgery.
That leaves Forest with Gaetan Bong as the only recognised left-back for Sunday’s game. On the basis, Hughton has previously told him he’s surplus to requirements, starting him wouldn’t be a good look.
He doesn’t have to start Bong though.
Loic Mbe Soh has featured there in pre-season, as has Jayden Richardson, fresh from a loan at Forest Green Rovers where he occasionally occupied a place on the left.
Colback has played left-back for Forest before though and could be a bold selection by Hughton.
During the end of his loan spell in 2018/19, the 31-year-old was tasked with playing left-back by Martin O’Neill.
Forest lost both of the games he played in defence but in fairness, the season was practically over by then anyway.
Is a Forest resurgence on the cards for Colback?
Colback has experience of playing at left-back for both Newcastle and Sunderland and playing him there could allow some balance to the Reds’ midfield.
Cafu is more progressive than both Ryan Yates and Colback and that pairing seems likely to work better than one which involves the ex-Magpies performer.
Forest fans were quick to dismiss Colback last season, as they previously had Ben Watson.
He wasn’t great last season, but the midfielder missed the entire 2019/20 campaign with a troublesome injury.
Colback looks in great shape and has performed well during the pre-season campaign, albeit against lesser opposition.
He will hope to emulate Watson this season by proving some of the Reds’ faithful wrong.
If Hughton fancies being bold, Colback’s revival might be best served starting in a left-back role.