Hughes fielded seven of his summer signings at the Etihad on Saturday.
At times they looked like strangers but Hughes is confident that things will soon gel.
He said: "All in all there are a lot of positives. We can look back on that and think we've got something to build on. I was really encouraged by what we produced in the second half.
"You could see we were trying to get the ball down and we've got good players.
"Once we've had a number of games together and once we've had more experience of playing other as a team, we'll get better."