New goalkeeper Shay Given is expected to make his debut in the clash with Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Hughes declared: “We are looking at a strong second half to the season. I’ve always felt it would take time.
“We are in better shape to get those results now because of the players we have brought to the club.
“The changes we have made on and off the field have been vast and I don’t think people understand how vast the change has been since we took over.
“Now I’m more confident the impact of the changes, not only on personnel but the way we do our work on a daily basis, will have a positive impact and lead us into next season.
“We will have the benefit next season of having players who have been able to bed in and get an understanding of the Premier League.”