The 51-year-old was dismissed just months after guiding the Magpies back to the Premier League, leaving the club while they were 11th in the top flight.
Hughton has since had spells at Birmingham City, Norwich City and Brighton, working wonders at the latter by also taking them up from the Championship last season.
Ahead of his latest showdown with former employers Newcastle on Sunday afternoon, the former Republic of Ireland international told Sky Sports News: "My remit is to make sure we are a Premier League team next season, and all my focuses and goals have always been on the job I'm doing at that time. That's my goal and focus.
"So no, I've never felt I have a point to prove. What I've always felt is that I want to be managing at the top level, either taking the team there or having a job there. We want to be a consistent Premier League club over the years and we certainly know the difficulties in this division, but it has to be in the division next season.
"Would we settle for 17th? We never like to speak that way because we don't know what the season holds, and some fare better than others. We've given the club a good opportunity to grow and develop. It has certainly been a learning curve for us. The pleasing thing is that we feel like we've been in the five games we've had so far and we've had good contributions in all five games.
"We know Newcastle well from last season, for us it's a home game, and in this division there are a group of teams that you know it's very difficult to get a result against. Then there is also a very big group of teams you feel you can get results from, and Newcastle come into that category. I don't think it's detrimental to say that, because plenty will say that about us."
Newcastle were the only side to beat Brighton both home and away in the Championship last season, helping them to finish one point clear as champions.