After Robinho's scoring performance against Arsenal, Sparky said: "Robbie needs to get credit for the amount of work he does for the team, given the week he's had, the amount of travelling he's done.
"He could have put his hand up at half-time and said 'Listen boss, I'm absolutely knackered' but he's not prepared to do that. He puts a stint in and that's what you have to do in the Premier League. You have to dig in and work hard for your team-mates."
Robinho arrived in the Premier League known mainly for his tricks and step-overs.
But Hughes said: "There's a lot more to his game than that. We look at his contribution to games and the successful passes. He never gives the ball away.
"Very rarely in tight situations does he pick the wrong option and that's a great thing for the rest of his team-mates.
"They know when they give him the ball they can trust him with it. In one-on-one situations, there are not many better.
"He has the ability to understand the pace you have to run at keepers. He understands how to draw them out of position and then strikes when he needs to.
"The chip was fantastic - he surprised everyone, including the keeper.
"Everyone would have enjoyed it. He's a great player - one of those few in world football who get people out of their seats."