Juan Mata's brilliant 38th minute goal separated the two sides but Hughton felt his Canaries put on a good show only to come up short at Carrow Road.
"Our goalkeeper (Mark Bunn) hasn't had to make too many saves, the one real bit of quality was shown by them and of course it was a wonderful finish by Mata.
"I thought at one stage when the game opened up I thought we could get something.
"We were close today if we have a little more guile, a little bit more quality in that final third then we get something, but we gave a good account of ourselves.
"If we had got something from the game today I don't think anybody would have begrudged us that because we certainly worked enough for it."
The loss left Norwich sitting 11th on the league table as Chelsea remained third thanks to their third win on the trot.