A 1-0 loss to struggling Hamilton on Saturday left Inverness five points behind Motherwell, who occupy the last place in the top half.
Carlton Morris put the visiting Accies in front on the hour mark and, despite waves of late pressure from the home side, they were unable to find a leveller.
Form may be against them, but, with four games still to go before the split, Hughes believes his team can still be competing with the league’s best.
“I’m looking at the top six and we’re capable of going on a run. But we’re looking over our shoulder and we need to get back to winning ways,” he said
“Some would say that luck has deserted us, but I don’t call it luck, it’s the fundamentals of football. That comes with experience and they know what to do in the right situations.
“If we want to get where we want to go we need to go on a run. Get the ball over the line, keep clean sheets and it wouldn’t surprise me with these bunch of lads if we do that.
“But it’s easy talking about it. It needs action. That’s where we are. I’m not going to talk about injuries – we’ve got what we’ve got and the guys we’ve got here are good enough.”
Hamilton manager Martin Canning is not worrying about the teams below his side as the battle to beat the drop heats up.
A run of just one win in 14 games preceded their visit to the Highlands, making the victory very welcome.
“I’ve said all along we can’t really worry about what’s happening elsewhere. We’ve got to try and take care of our own job,” he said. “I know it’s a cliché, but for us it really is about making sure we focus on us and try and win enough games to keep ourselves safe in the league.”