Hughes was sent on as a second half substitute at Bramall Lane on Saturday, and showed some neat touches as Paul Groves’ side looked for a way back into the game after finding themselves behind at the interval.
The 33-year-old’s introduction appeared to have a positive impact as Lee Barnard scored shortly after the break, but goals from Richard Cresswell and Nick Blackman either side of Marc Pugh’s late strike earned the Blades all three points.
“Physically, I felt as good as I thought I would, and I’ve managed to stay clear of niggles over the last three or four weeks. It’s early days in terms of my involvement but I hope to get sharper with the more games I play,” Hughes told afcb.co.uk.
“I was disappointed with the defeat, but, when you consider it was such a short space of time between returning to training and being involved in a competitive game, then I suppose there will be positives to take from that.
“I have worked hard over the last three or four weeks to be involved and it will take a lot more hard work and hours on the training ground to get to the level that I want to be at, and Saturday was a small step in the right direction.”
The Cherries travel to Portsmouth for a Jonstone’s Paint Trophy first round tie tomorrow evening, and Hughes is confident they can produce a positive performance after the weekend’s disappointment.
“We know what we are capable of doing and the very least we wanted to do was to push them. We wanted to take something from the game and to not be able to do that after scoring three goals was disappointing,” he said
“But I’m sure we will bounce back because we’ve got some very good characters and footballers in our changing room.
“Let’s not forget it was our first defeat of the season and it took a good side in Sheffield United to make that happen. But we need to start winning games and we want to do that on Tuesday night.”