The Cameroon international has struggled with a groin complaint since joining from Marseille and impressed on his first start for the Hoops, despite giving away a penalty late on.
"I thought he did fine," Hughes said of Mbia.
"Obviously it was a different type of game to what he is probably used to, but for the most part I thought he looked strong and showed what a good player he will be for us.
"He hasn't played for a couple of weeks and hasn't had that many training sessions in fairness.
"I wasn't really anticipating having to play him for the whole match, but he came through it thankfully and he'll get better.
"It was a good test for him and he understands that this is the type of game that on occasions we'll have to play in both cup competitions and the Premier League."