The Potters won 1-0 thanks to Peter Odemwingie's 62nd minute goal after he latched onto a stray Ahmed Elmohamady pass.
The victory made it three wins on the bounce as Hughes' side reached the magic 40 points mark to look safe with six more games to go.
He told Sky Sports: "We weren't as fluid today as we have been in recent weeks but that obviously is partly to do with the opposition and the way they set up.
"They were never going to allow us to play open and fluid football today, they worked hard to nullify the space in behind them.
"First half certainly we found it a little bit difficult to break them down and we didn't really have that creative spark that we needed in that final third.
"I thought we were better certainly in the second half and once we got the goal, we had other chances as well on the break and we could have won more comprehensively.
"But we take the 1-0 win. As I've said, it wasn't a performance that matched our recent ones but we were still able to win the game so that's a good sign."
The Potters are finishing Hughes' first season in charge strongly, having lost only one of their last nine matches and winning four of their last five to sit 10th in the table.
With the latest win, their hopes of improving on their best Premier League final position of 11th and points tally of 47 this term is looking increasingly realistic.
Hughes added: "It's another landmark point of the season for us - 40 points always figures in people's minds before the season starts.
"But certainly we set targets at the beginning of the season that we hoped we'd be capable of and now it looks like we've got a real chance of achieving something that a Stoke side hasn't done this year.
"So we've just got to keep going - we've got six games left, we've got good opportunities, certainly here against teams that we feel we can go well against - so further opportunities obviously to put more points on the board.
"Today was important, we didn't really hit the heights we have done in recent weeks, but it was a good three points anyway."