"I thought we were excellent in the first half," Hughes told BBC Sport. "On the front foot, asking questions of the opposition.
"We got our noses in front with a fantastic goal from Ryan but if we managed that game better, we could've come away with something. At that point, I thought the only winner was us, but momentum shifted and that was a real hammer blow to lose at the end.
"The manner of the performance gives me hope for the rest of the season because we definitely deserved to get something out of today's game. We let them back into the game and it's really cruel that we haven't got anything to show for it. It was a really strong performance and if we continue like that, everyone will be happy."
Southampton switch their focus onto the EFL Cup on Tuesday night as they take on south coast rivals Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium.