Hughes’ Stoke side take on his former team at the Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day.
United have faced some heavy criticism, and their manager Louis van Gaal is under considerable pressure, after a poor run of results and longer spell of uninspiring performances.
United lost their last three games in all competitions, have not won in six and were booed off after losing to Norwich last weekend. They have crashed out of the Champions League and slipped to fifth in the Barclays Premier League.
“I think there is a little bit of noise surrounding the club and a little bit of debate about how they are playing, and which way the club is going,” Hughes said.
“From the games I have seen, they are dominating games for the most part. Their game seems a lot more possession-based than it has been in the past. They have had a lot of possession and created a lot of chances – a bit like ourselves.
“They have got good players, they have got a good squad. They have got good individual talent. You would expect at some point they would start to click again. Hopefully we won’t allow that at the weekend.
“The team I played in early on was probably the last one that was booed, when I first broke in. But there will be times when that happens. It’s about performance. That’s what happens here as well. Nobody backs away from that.
“But more often than not if you’ve got a strong group of players and leaders within that group they can get themselves together, shake themselves out of it and do something about it. That’s what all United teams in the past have done, and I would fully expect them to do it again this year.”