Hughes was being mocked by their travelling support as he headed along the touchline to the tunnel after being dismissed to the stands.
"I told them to shut up, that's all," he disclosed after the defeat.
Hughes was sent off for stepping outside his technical area, he insisted, and not for swearing at fourth official Jon Moss.
"I came out of my technical area a bit upset.
"I felt the assistant referee could have flagged for a foul (on Jon Walters).
"We are not allowed to come out of our technical area and Mr Moss, bless him, thought it warranted a sending off, which to the letter of the law it does."