Hughton had a chance to banish memories of Norwich's dismal festive period and get one over on the club that sacked him so harshly in December 2010 but his side only had two serious attempts on goal - a Russell Martin shot that clipped the post and a late header from captain Grant Holt.
With the unfit Holt consigned to the substitutes' bench for most of the match, Norwich lacked a clinical edge up front while the quality of their passing in the final third, and their crossing, was poor.
Hughton said: "There was a lack of confidence in our offensive play, possibly.
"We had plenty of three on two situations but we couldn't find the final ball.
"Our crosses were poor and that was very frustrating."