Hughes accepts that he has had a lot to contend with so far this season.
He told City's website: "We have changed the shape of the team, in fairness to Stevie. For the majority of last season we played 4-3-3, but more often than not this year we have changed to 4-4-2, with Nigel and Gareth becoming a pair after Stevie went out of the team.
"They have done well, so he has found it difficult to get back into the team but it's not reflection on how he is playing. He's playing exceptionally well in training games on a daily basis, he's getting back to where he knows he is comfortable with and he is a great option for us to have.
"But, he needs to be patient and bide his time. He will get opportunities, he knows that, he is too good a player to be out of the team for too long."