Wigan's success in the FA Cup is being celebrated with a fiery Will Grigg pie.
But victory against impressive and risky League One opponents has presented not only Hughes but his widely criticised new players, the chance to salvage their season.
The former Stoke boss said: "This was an important fixture". "Though clearly our Premier League status is a huge concern for us and we have to retain that". We expected that response from Southampton and we wish them well in the semi-finals.
"I have been really impressed with the quality of the talent I have. Today was the first step towards addressing those criticisms".
Mark Hughes describes Southampton's FA Cup quarter-final win over Wigan Athletic as "a statement of intent". I wanted to play more in their half in the second half and we started brightly in that regard.
But from another Tadic corner from the left, the Dane turned it goalwards and Dan Burn was unable to keep it out.
Paul Cook reacted by bringing on Powell and Ryan Colclough for Massey and Roberts, but Southampton's new-found resilience kept Wigan at bay.More news: Turkey forces capture Syrian Kurdish town of Afrin
Will Grigg has scored seven FA Cup goals, including four goals against top-flight opposition. "It's a short-term deal but it's a good start for everybody".
Latics host the Premier League strugglers knowing they are only 90 minutes away from a third Wembley semi-final in the space of six seasons.
"The work we've done since I've come in and the positivity of this result will help us moving forward".
Nathan Byrne gave Southampton a torrid time down the right and he sparked chaos in the Saints' defence five minutes later but his shot took a deflection and, with Chey Dunkley just unable to apply the finishing touch, the ball rolled past a post. Byrne played a blind backpass straight to Gabbiadini, but Christian Walton did brilliantly to spread himself and deny the Italian the opening goal.
MARK HUGHES enjoyed a ideal first game in charge of Southampton as he guided his new club to Wembley.
They have lost just twice in their last 23 matches in all competitions (W14, D7).
"You can't ask for any more than four games against four Premier League teams and the Man City game will live long in the memory". It was not to be, and now they must focus on their promotion bid.