After losing three men in the build-up to Friday's encounter with San Marino, England ended up with a central defensive partnership in which neither player is a regular performer in that role for their clubs.
And whilst neither was extended as the Three Lions strolled to an eight-goal victory, there must be concerns as England advance to more difficult assignments, starting in Montenegro on Tuesday.
It was little surprise therefore that after a build-up dominated by Rio Ferdinand, John Terry's name should crop up afterwards, specifically whether Hodgson had given any thought to asking his former captain to come out of retirement triggered by a belief the Football Association had failed to provide enough support over the racism row with Anton Ferdinand.
For Hodgson, it presented the potential for yet another unwanted distraction.
And he wants the focus purely on those who are available.
"It is wrong to consistently ask for people to come back," said Hodgson.
"John Terry did a fantastic job for me during the Euros but the fact is he has retired from international football.
"That is a decision I respected. Let's also show respect for the young Smalling and the not-so-young, but tried and tested Joleon Lescott.
"Do we ask Michael Owen to come out of retirement every time we don't score a goal?
"I am not exactly putting a couple of lads from non-league football out there on Tuesday. Joleon was a champion of England at Manchester City last season and Chris is playing for Manchester United.
"I think we should show them a bit more respect and not constantly compare them with John Terry. We could be talking about Roy McFarland and Colin Todd. How far back do you want us to go?"
It was an admirable show of defiance from Hodgson, and one backed up by skipper Steven Gerrard when asked about the circumstances behind Rio Ferdinand not reporting for duty with England, but instead commentating for al-Jazeera from their base in Qatar.
The Three Lions supporters made their feelings known in no uncertain manner, which would have been pretty uncomfortable listening for Ferdinand.
"The fans have shown their frustrations about Rio not being here and they are entitled to their opinion," said Gerrard.
"They've spent good money to come over here.
"We wanted Rio here because he is a good player and he certainly would have helped us over these two games.
"But he's made his decision and we need to respect that."
Respect will be in pretty short supply for Hodgson if England get beaten in Montenegro.
For whilst Friday's performance was positive, the fact remains England are two points behind their major rivals for that single automatic qualification spot, and five would be a onerous gap to close over the remaining four games.
Not that Hodgson is feeling the pressure, having presumed he would be in a "dog fight" from the first whistle.
"If you are the manager of any team worthy of the name, the pressure is always on you," he said.
"You are there to be judged. I don't necessarily think the pressure builds up just because the game takes on a little bit more importance.
"We always knew this was going to be a bit of a dogfight, so only time will tell whether we can afford to lose Tuesday's game.
"But we are not going there to lose. If Montenegro want the three points they will, hopefully, have to play very well, or we will have to have a very bad day.
"We have no intentions of having a bad day. We are going into the game with confidence."
The returns of Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Danny Welbeck fuel that belief ahead of the final competitive match of Hodgson's first full season in charge.
And as he approaches that milestone, the 65-year-old has been pleasantly surprised at what he has discovered.
"I know as England manager you are not supposed to find this job enjoyable, but I have," he said.
"When you have been working in football a long time, you really want to be working with the best quality you can.
"Working with England has certainly lived up to that.
"I have really been impressed with the way the players have responded to the work we have tried to do, and also by their desire. I have also been impressed by their desire.
"The one thing the England fans can be certain of is that if we fail, it won't be because there are players who don't take it seriously or players who are more interested in themselves and their clubs."