Newcastle are now 10 points clear of third place with only nine games to go, but after Saturday's clash at Ashton Gate, Hughton said: "Games like this teach you to keep feet firmly on the ground.
"We would have been favourites with most people going into the match, but didn't get the win we wanted.
"I knew it would be tough because City had beaten West Bromwich Albion here and were under a new caretaker-manager.
"I thought in the end we had the chances to take all three points, but from 2-0 down at half time you are always happy with a point.
"There has never been any question about the spirit in our squad and we had to demonstrate it again."
City caretaker Keith Millen looked set for a dream first game in charge when the hosts went two up in 44 minutes.
Nicky Maynard's 20-yard free-kick early on was fumbled by Steve Harper, leaving defender Lewin Nyatanga with a simple tap-in.
Maynard doubled the advantage with a superb strike just before the break, cutting in from the left to drill home a right-footed shot off the far post for his 14th goal of the season.
But an error by otherwise impressive goalkeeper Dean Gerken after 71 minutes altered the course of the game.
His intended throw-out to Cole Skuse was intercepted by Jonas Gutierrez, who ran through to pull a goal back.
With City under increasing pressure, Wayne Routledge got behind their back line four minutes later to cross for Andy Carroll to net the equaliser from close range.
Millen played down his hopes of getting the job as successor to Gary Johnson on a permanent basis, but was delighted with the commitment shown by his team.
"It wasn't about me today, it was about the club and the players," he said.
"I am not thinking beyond Tuesday's home game against Barnsley.
"I'm not sure I can say I enjoyed the game. I did like walking out in front of a near 20,000 crowd and walking in at half time with a two-goal lead.
"After that things became a bit more testing and I half expected Gary Johnson to contact me on my mobile phone to offer some advice.
"There were some tired legs at the end because the lads put in everything for the club.
"I shall have to take that into account before selecting for the Barnsley game."