The Potters have accrued just one point from their opening five matches, leaving them bottom of the table and already three points from safety.
However, Hughes pointed out that victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday would give them more points than they had at the same stage of last season, which ended with the club securing a top-half finish.
"There is a little bit of noise around us because we haven't got our first league win, but if we win tomorrow we will have made a better start than we did last season, when we finished ninth," Hughes told reporters.
"At the moment maybe people think there's a smell of blood in the air, and an opportunity to add pressure, but we add pressure ourselves.
"We're disappointed with the start, but I think you'll find very quickly that we'll start to get positive results and wins on the board. I think I have proved in my time here that I can take the club in the direction that we all want to be."