The match they dubbed â€˜El Sackicoâ€™ due to the position of both sides on the Premier League table gave Nigel Adkins and his Saints something to smile about after a tough beginning to life in the top flight.
Hughes has remained confident in his own ability throughout the start of the season despite the Râ€™s recording just four draws from 12 outings and todayâ€™s result now sees them sitting four points in arrears of second-bottom Southampton.
The win was made possible by first-half goals from Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon as Junior Hoilett gave the home side some hope early in the second half before an Anton Ferdinand own-goal resigned QPR to their eighth defeat of the campaign.
Lambert made it 1-0 in the 23rd minute when he bundled home from close range after the Râ€™s defence were unable to clear a goalmouth scramble.
The Saints went two ahead in stoppage time of the first half when Puncheon, who was involved in the opener, played a one-two with Nathaniel Clyne before cutting onto his left foot from the right side to rifle past Julio Cesar.
Four minutes into the second term and Hughesâ€™ men were back in touch courtesy of Hoilettâ€™s unmarked header from Adel Taarabtâ€™s floated cross but Ferdinand was guilty of letting Southampton off the hook when he allowed Morgan Schneiderlinâ€™s low cross to take a deflection and find its way into the back of his own net with seven minutes remaining.
The defeat must have the hierarchy at Loftus Road asking questions about Hughesâ€™ tenure whilst Adkins can breathe a sigh of relief as his Saints produced a much-needed lot of three points.
Loftus Road, London â€“ 18,174
Yellow cards: QPR - Jose Bosingwa 69â€™
SOU - nil