With the September arrival of billionaire owner Sheikh Mansour, expectation levels rocketed, but inconsistency has led to criticism and rumours surrounding the future of British-record signing Robinho.
It has also been suggested that Hughes is fighting to keep his job as City have struggled horribly on their travels, winning only one Premier League game on the road this season.
But there have been signs for encouragement on home soil where 10 victories have been recorded - a statistic only beaten by neighbours Manchester United - while City are also preparing for a Uefa Cup quarter-final meeting with Hamburg as favourites for the competition.
ImpactAnd despite the opinions of doubters, Hughes believes there is evidence that the future is bright, telling Sky Sports News: "We are doing OK and are progressing as a team and a club.
"We are certainly much stronger now than we were at the beginning of the season. I think people can see the club is going in the right direction.
"I think there will still be people who prefer, for whatever reason, to highlight the negative side or put a negative slant on what we are trying to do here.
"We've come to a point now where we just accept that and it becomes quite predictable and it does not have as much impact as it might have done earlier in the season.
"We are in decent shape. We know we are going in the right direction. We know the club and team are gelling quickly and we feel certain we are going to be successful."