"I was very shocked [at Warnock's sacking], really," Smith told BBC Radio Five Live. "Generally, in the build-up to a sacking, you hear rumours and there weren't really much going round. It did come slightly out of the blue.
"Everyone involved really wanted a quick appointment and to get someone of Mark's calibre and having got him in so quickly, it's great news."
Hughes has the task of ensuring that the R's steer clear of relegation by improving on their 17th-placed position in the Premier League table.