Barry faces former club Aston Villa tonight and Hughes told City's website: "Gareth was always someone I had admired from afar.
"I looked at his qualities, and the amount of games he had in the Premier League, and the amount of quality performances he had produced over a long period of time.
"He has a huge range of passing, can be constructive and destructive at times and I felt he was a player we needed to bring to the club. Thankfully we were able to do that very quickly, and to an extent I think it helped enable us get other players to come to the club.
"Gareth understood what we were trying to do here very quickly, and that we were able to get one of the key men in the England set-up to come to us really helped our strategy of acquisitions."