The Potters ended a four-game losing streak with victory over the Tigers on Saturday, a result which lifted them 11 points clear of the relegation zone and just one short of the 40-point mark.
Stoke will now set their sights on another top-half finish in the Premier League, and Hughes believes that they can make up some lost ground on the teams around them in the table over the closing stages of the season.
"I could sense there was a little bit of anxiety in our play at times which is understandable if you haven't had a win for a number of weeks," he told reporters,
"But I think that will settle it down and we can play with freedom and confidence because we're a good team. If we show that in the remaining games we'll have an enjoyable end to the season.
"We knew this period would test us. You always look at periods where the fixtures are unkind and that's what we've just come through. Teams have been to catch us because they had more favourable run - now we have opportunity to pick up points when they've got tougher fixtures."
Stoke face another relegation-threatened side in Swansea City next weekend.