The former Falkirk, Hibernian, Livingston and Hartlepool manager did not leave his seat in the St Mirren Park stand as his new charges ground out a 0-0 Scottish Premiership draw with the Buddies.
Coaches Duncan Shearer and Scott Kellacher were allowed to run the game from the dugout while Hughes also played just a bit-part during the half-time discussions in Paisley.
Now Hughes - who takes over from the departed Terry Butcher with Caley Thistle still sitting second in the table - admits he may have to reconsider plans to bring in his own number two.
He said: "It was quite easy to sit in the stand because the two guys who took it today - Duncan and Scott - have a rapport with the boys and the respect of the dressing room.
"They are two real hard-working guys and it was their team today. The credit goes to them.
"I didn't say much to them at half-time. I stood back and let Duncan do it before chipping in with one or two wee things.
"I just have to go along with how things have been. Terry has done a remarkable job. I don't know how he's done it. I don't know where he gets these players from.
"As for who will be my assistant, it's something I've got to take my time on. I've been really impressed with these two guys. You can see the respect the players have for them.
"Now I just need to keep the things that Terry has done going. I'm reluctant to change things. If it's not broken, don't fix it."
Saints, who lost 3-0 in Inverness on the opening day of the season, were the better side in the first half and the Highlanders had to rely on goalkeeper Dean Brill to twice deny Steven Thompson.
His first save was an instinctive block with his right wrist following a flowing move from the home team, while the second was even more impressive as the Englishman pushed Thompson's drive onto his left-hand post.
But Shearer's half-time words clearly had the desired effect and Caley Thistle came out a much more compact side.
They had their own chance to claim the points when Marley Watkins also hit the woodwork with a header but in the end neither side could find a breakthrough.
Hughes added: "We had a few trepidations in the first half and made a few mistakes. That put St Mirren on the front foot and they were the better side. We had our goalkeeper to thank for making a couple of saves.
"But we were much better in the second and possibly could have stolen it."
The point extends St Mirren's unbeaten run to five games and keeps them just a point of seventh-place Hibernian.
Manager Danny Lennon said: "We're disappointed not to have won that, especially when you consider the chances we created.
"It was a big test for us playing against the second best team in Scotland at this time. But we more than matched them and at times some of our football was breathtaking.
"I'm just disappointed we didn't have a goal to show for it. Brill had three fantastic saves in the first half to keep us out.
"To look at where we have come from the opening day of the season to now is encouraging."