Following Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Stoke, and with the club hovering six points above the Barclays Premier League relegation zone, Hughton concedes this is "a nervy time" for the Canaries.
Since mid-December City have won just two league games, and with only one win in their last eight, they are displaying relegation form.
In fact, you could arguably trace City's demise back to a 4-1 Capital One Cup loss to Villa at Carrow Road in December that ended a 10-game run without defeat as the club were flying high at that time.
Hughton, however, is adamant that match will not play any part in the equation for Saturday's return visit of Villa and former Norwich boss Paul Lambert.
"It's a massive game for us because of the fact we are playing a team around us, so there is a little more significance in the game," said Hughton.
"As for the game back in December, I don't think it has any bearing on the one coming up.
"You might have seen the away game (a 1-1 draw at Villa in October). I don't think there is anybody who saw that who didn't think we were the better team on that day, so the cup game is irrelevent.
"Regardless, it's a tough game at this stage of the season whoever it is against."
Hughton, though, will surely be concerned with what was a toothless performance against Stoke as not once did they test goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
In a game lacking any real quality, Stoke produced the only moment that mattered 50 seconds after the restart with a typical route-one goal.
From defender Robert Huth's long ball, striker Peter Crouch nodded it on into the area where Charlie Adam stabbed home his first goal for five months from seven yards.
Crouch should have made the victory more emphatic, but embarrassingly missed two sitters, the first of which was from four yards in front of an open goal.
Knowing his side are far from safe, Hughton added: "There's some work still to do.
"We've still two home games coming up, which is a plus for us, and it still in our own hands.
"Yes, it's a nervy time for everybody, which is normal.
"Until you are confident you are clear of trouble it's always a bit nervy, a bit apprehensive for everybody.
"We simply have to make sure we do enough in our two home games in particular to get us over the line."
Following back-to-back wins for the first time since December, Stoke have now hit the 40-point mark manager Tony Pulis has long insisted would be enough for safety.
With the Potters eight points clear of the bottom three, it would take a remarkable turn of events for them to be relegated now.
Pulis, under fire and under pressure recently, opted not to attend the post-match press conference for the second successive game, instead sending in assistant Dave Kemp.
The manager, however, did talk to the BBC and the club's website where he has admitted he is now preaching a degree of caution.
"We've got what we wanted - 40 points," said Pulis.
"But we'll wait and analyse what happens in the Aston Villa-Sunderland game (Monday), then take it from there.
"Hopefully, this is enough now to secure our sixth season in the Premier League, but we're not mathematically safe yet and we certainly cannot relax until that is the case."
Perhaps in a pointed remark to his critics, Pulis believes people should appreciate just what he has done for the club.
"A sixth season in the Premier League would be a remarkable achievement when you consider just how far we have come over the past seven-and-a-half years," added Pulis.
"We were a mid-table Championship club going absolutely nowhere and getting crowds of 12-13,000 each week, and now look where we are.
"It's a fantastic success story and everyone at the club should be proud of what we have done in such a short space of time.
"Not only have we stayed in the Premier League, but this is the first time we have got close to being in any sort of trouble."