The Blues have seen their profile rise considerably this term as a result of the Abu Dhabi United Group's takeover at Eastlands.
Outlandish offers for the likes of Brazilian superstar Kaka have then helped to keep the club in the headlines, but not necessarily for the right reasons.
However, while their Premier League form has been frustratingly inconsistent, they have made solid progress in the Uefa Cup.
Thursday night will see City travel to Denmark to face FC Copenhagen in the first leg of their last 32 encounter, and Hughes is hoping his side can take another step towards a highly-respected piece of silverware.
"We started quite early in the competition and the idea was to get to the group stages," he said.
"Obviously we are in the last 32 and want to see how far we can go. If we can get to the latter stages then we feel we may have an opportunity to go all the way.
"A Uefa Cup run is important to the club. We want to be challenging for trophies."
ConfidentHughes is also hoping that some shaky away performances at domestic level can be put to one side in midweek, with the Welshman keen to point towards a 2-0 victory at German outfit Schalke in November as proof that his side are capable of generating positive results on the road.
He said: "We played really well against Schalke. A lot of people did not expect us to get something from the game but we were very positive.
"We got goals at the right time and won the match comfortably. We would love to have a similar situation tomorrow.
"While there has been a lot of discussion about our away form in the Premier League, arguably our best performances this season have been in Europe. Hopefully that augurs well.
"We are looking to get in good shape for the second leg, so we have to try and get something out of the game."