The 30-year-old has been involved in numerous controversies since his debut for Norwich in 1997 and gained a reputation as a trouble-maker, enhanced by the fact City is his eighth professional club. However, after moving from West Ham to Eastlands in January for £14million it is the Wales international's form on the pitch, especially this season, which has stood out.
Bellamy has scored four goals in his last four Barclays Premier League matches and was also on target for his national team against Finland at the weekend.
Hughes, who previously worked with the striker during his time as manager of Wales and then Blackburn, insists the wider public are now seeing what he spotted a long time ago in the player.
"The perception of Craig for too long has been too negative," Hughes told the club`s official website. "He'll admit himself that at times he has let himself down. What has never been in question was his ability, and because of the focus on City he now has a platform to allow people to understand what a good player he is.
"I've worked with him before at international level and at Blackburn and he was outstanding for me. But, because of the lack of focus on his efforts there his performances were not flagged up as they should have been."