"Stephen has shown the right response following the arrival of Robinho," said Hughes. "Some players, if their club signs someone who plays in a similar position to them or who is similar in style, think they've been bought to replace them.
"Stephen hasn't taken that attitude. He's taken the attitude that he wants to be a part of what's happening here and has to work damned hard to make sure he stays here.
"The key to his performances is the energy and drive he's giving to the team, but his undoubted skill has come to the fore too. People underestimate what a good player he is, and I'm pleased he's been able to show that over the past couple of weeks."