Hughes, who took stepped into Terry Butcher shoes at the beginning of last month, had seen his team win just one league game under his tutelage.
However, midfielder Danny Williams' first-half strike proved decisive at Pittodrie, much to Hughes' satisfaction.
"We worked exceptionally hard, but that's a given. If you don't do that, you'll be beaten," he said.
"I felt throughout the game we had the best chances. We played it great and were fantastic on the counter-attack. On another day we could have had a few more goals.
"We were a little concerned with the lack of height and physical presence in our side with the players suspended and injured, but we dealt with it very well.
"I felt it was a game power-play against a team that wanted to counter-attack and play a bit of football, and we won out.
"The boys have been playing really well since I came in. They've not been getting the results, but they've shown a great spirit and been playing good football. They're only going to get better with confidence and momentum.
"I don't get involved in league tables. I just look at the work being done on the training pitch and I'm starting to see the work we're doing there manifest itself in our play.
"For me as a coach, that's really, really pleasing. We don't get carried away, just look ahead to the next match."
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes said: "We didn't bring the level of performance that we're capable of.
"Even though we're on a good run and the players have been playing well, it doesn't become automatic that you play well and the game's won.
"It was a bad day for us but that can happen. Knowing these boys and the types that they are, they'll respond in the right way.
"They got after us and put good pressure on us and they countered on us well. The goal came from a good counter-attack, so you have to credit them for that."