Hughes's side claimed their first away since August at Villa Park, and the Potters boss is now targeting a higher finish than the 13th place they achieved last term.
He told Sky Sports News: "We can look upwards now and try and achieve something this season.
"We've been waiting for an away for a long time, but it was well worth the wait and I thought we were excellent today.
"We didn't start brightly, but after that I thought we were excellent and showed a real desire to get on the ball. We had that cutting edge today and it shows by how well we've played."
The Potters host Hull City on Saturday.