Tuesday night's 2-1 victory over Scunthorpe in the Capital One Cup came with a completely different starting XI to that which lined up against QPR last weekend.
Simon Lappin's first goal for the Canaries in almost five years and a Wes Hoolahan penalty were enough to see off a spirited Scunthorpe side who had equalised through Mark Duffy's long-range effort.
Despite being run close by their League One opposition, Hughton reckons the players on display have given themselves a chance of staying in the first team for the Premier League match at Tottenham.
He said: "I'm happy because we made the decision to change the whole team, which we were able to do because of the players we have.
"I'm pleased for the players that played today because there is a bit of a pressure on them, I have changed the team but what I was desperate for it not to feel like was that it was a second XI I had put out, because I didn't see it that way.
"I didn't want to take away anything from the evening - there was a lot more good than bad for me.
"That is how it should be - that whoever plays in the game is doing well enough that they are giving me food for thought and I thought there were some good performances.
"We could have made life a little more comfortable for ourselves by getting the extra goal but I thought as a team I couldn't fault the effort of the players."
Despite Scunthorpe's poor league form, Hughton was not anticipating an easy victory, but was pleased to progress to the next round.
"These games don't come easy," he said.
"Scunthorpe are having a difficult time in the league and this would have been a really nice release for them I think today. I thought they played quite well and made it difficult for us but overall I'm quite pleased.
"I think we were very good in phases, at time we could have kept the ball better.
"There is nothing like the cutting edge of playing games - we have gone through a pre-season period and you would like to think it is fairly even across the board with the players you have got, but of course some have missed the competitive edge of playing games."
Lappin's opening goal came in the 32nd minute but Duffy levelled for the visitors two minutes later with a curling effort from long range.
A second half that was edged by Norwich saw the Premier League side secure the win when Hoolahan converted a penalty he had won himself after being brought down by Niall Canavan.
Iron debutant David Prutton forced Norwich goalkeeper Declan Rudd into a decent late save before the Canaries took the sting out of the game in the closing stages.
Scunthorpe boss Alan Knill, who saw his side fall to the bottom of League One following a 4-0 defeat at home to Yeovil on Saturday, was happy with the improved performance.
He said: "We came off a really poor result on Saturday and you are playing against a Premier League team and we just looked at their team when it came out and thought 'that team could easily win the Championship, the team that we played tonight'.
"I thought it was important the players gave a decent account of themselves and the team gave a good account of itself and I thought we did that."
Knill also felt his side could have claimed a notable scalp if they had managed to take an early lead through winger Andy Barcham, who saw his third-minute effort well saved by Rudd.
"That was the one, wasn't it," he said. "We had a great chance then they go up the other end and have a lot of possession.
"Then they score on 30 minutes and you go 'here we go' but it was a good time to score (the equaliser) and I thought we were in the game.
"Obviously we are all disappointed we lost because we had chances and I thought it was a good game of football - two teams trying to play the right way and I thought we came out of it with a lot of credit."