The former Leeds and Manchester United midfielder missed the 2-1 victory over Doncaster at St James` Park last Saturday through suspension after receiving his fifth booking of the season in the loss at Scunthorpe the previous Tuesday.
Hughton told the club`s official website: "Alan Smith is a big player for us and he was disappointed to miss out at Doncaster.
"In hindsight, you would rather have all your players available but the type of player Alan is, and due to his competitive nature, it goes with the territory.
"We want him available but we also want him to continue what he does for the team.
"He has often been the heartbeat of the team this season and we wouldn`t want to change any of that. His competitive nature is also something fans like to see."