The midfielder has so far failed to live up to expectations following his £18.3million arrival at the club, and has often been completely left out of the squad.
However with key players missing through injury, he was back in the side against Watford and played a key role alongside Charlie Adam in the engine room, much to the delight of his manager.
“He understood there was a role to play with Charlie alongside him," said Hughes. “Their strength isn't their defensive work, but both of them put a shift in and did the best they could given their limitations in that regard.
"I thought they understood where they needed to be, gave us a screen in front and were there when long balls were coming in. G doesn't like being involved in those types of games, but sometimes in the Premier League that's what you have to face.
"Having gone out of the team and watched games, some are games of football and some are battles. He understands that more now.
“You can't always play the football you want to play because the opposition will have something to say about that."