City can claim their first top flight title in 44 years with victory over QPR but the Loftus Road outfit are still fighting for survival, with a point almost certainly enough to keep them in the Premier League.
And Hughes, who spent 18 months in charge at Eastlands, is convinced QPR can frustrate City as they look to cause an upset.
“We’ve got to try and get a position where we can actually get those feelings of apprehension flowing through them,” said Hughes.
“We have to be in a position where we can still upset the party and stop the streamers being thrown.
“The City fans have had years of disappointment and sometimes there’s a little bit of gallous humour that surrounds them.
“The pessimism is understandable because they’ve had to put up with a lot. They’re trying to be optimists but maybe it goes against the grain somewhat.
“At times it was a badge of honour, because when they were slipping down the league, they were still there in their thousands to their credit, but on occasion they used to embrace, ‘we’re bad but we’re still going to support City.’”
QPR are two points of ahead of 18th-placed Bolton Wanderers, who travel to Stoke City on Sunday, while QPR look to claim their first point on the road since 1 February.
But Hughes admits the Hoops cannot afford to concede an early goal – as they did a Stamford Bridge before losing 6-1 to Chelsea last month.
“We can’t allow what happened against Chelsea,” added Hughes.
“We conceded after 50 seconds. If we allow that again we’re in trouble because City will totally relax and it becomes a long day again.
“I’d like to think given what happened against Chelsea, it’s highly unlikely to happen again.
“Our view is if we can frustrate and just play on a little bit of apprehension, and if even the players don’t have it the fans will have it.
“So we’ve got to try and play on those emotions. When we’re in the ascendency or have a moment in the game we’ve got to try and take it because it’s of huge importance to ourselves.”
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