Hughes was philosophical after the narrow 1-0 loss at Everton which came courtesy of a first-half Wayne Rooney strike, and was happy to take the positives out of the game.
In particular the performances of his three new signings, who he believes will be huge assets for the Potters this season.
"I thought the new guys stepped up to the plate and showed what they will offer us over the course of the season, and beyond," the Potters boss said.
"Max was only ever going to be available for a maximum of 30 minutes because he has had no game time at all this summer, but he really impressed me with his cameo.
"He was strong and direct and showed some class when he came on, so we are really positive about what they are going to add to the group moving forward."