Carlisle manager Greg Abbott hailed his side's 3-0 home win over League One strugglers Hartlepool as the best result in his time at the club.
Recent poor home form has seen Carlisle plummeting towards the relegation places, but a much-improved display helped ease some of the pressure on under-fire Abbott.
An own goal by Collins and Matty Robson's effort gave Carlisle an interval lead and Lee Miller added the third to give Carlisle just their third home win of the season and leave Hughes still seeking his first victory since he took charge in mid-November.
Abbott said: "The dressing room has stuck together and worked hard in situations that have been difficult to deal with and that's a great result. We owed the fans and it was a bit of pay back to those fans."
He added: "The result was paramount. Defeat would have ruined everything we have done here in the last four years. This league is unforgiving and we don't take anything for granted."
Carlisle survived an early scare when Pools' Jonathan Franks glanced a shot off the top of the crossbar from just outside the box.
But it was ex-Hartlepool winger Robson who was instrumental in Carlisle taking a 20th-minute lead. His left-footed shot from 25 yards struck defender Collins on the back and completely deceived goalkeeper Scott Flinders as it flew in just inside the post.
Carlisle defender Mike Edwards cleared a towering Steve Howard header off the goalline before Robson made it 2-0 to the Cumbrians in the 27th minute with a simple finish from inside the six-yard box.
Carlisle gave the Pools' goal a peppering after half-time, but the visitors hit back with their best spell as Andy Monkhouse and Howard both went close.
But Robson was a constant threat and his run and cross enabled Miller to nod home his first goal of the season at the far post for Carlisle's third goal in the 74th minute.