A busy summer has seen seven new arrivals, including £8.5million striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel from Sporting Lisbon and Gary Hooper from Celtic, raising hopes of an even brighter City showing from fans and punters alike.
But Hughton remains caiutious, saying: "We're still a club that's developing.
"This will be our third season back in the Premier League. We've had two very good seasons in this division, but this season - irrespective of what we've brought in - will start just as hard as last season started.
"It's still making sure we start next season's Premier League in the division - that's always the objective - but we want to make progress."
Van Wolfswinkel may not have found the net in pre-season, but Hughton is confident the new striker will deliver when the league action begins.
"His character can handle it," Hughton said. "And it's up to him to make sure that he's putting himself in the right positions and the right frame of mind to give himself an opportunity.
"He's certainly one that will get himself into the box, he is one who likes to run in beyond. But we've got to give him opportunities as well."
Hughton has not ruled out making further signings before the close of the window, adding: "Only if it's right. As regards numbers, we're probably about the same numbers (as last season).
"We'll go right through to the end of the window. If there are opportunities to improve and they're right for us, then we'll endeavour to do so. At the moment we're certainly not far away."
Defender Michael Turner is back in training after missing the majority of pre-season, while Bradley Johnson, another long-term injury victim, is also up and running again.