Hodgson said: "There have been some very good performances over the course of the season. Obviously of course there was a concern when first Mamadou Sakho, then James Tomkins and closely followed by Jeffrey Schlupp went down, because these are three guys who have been stalwarts in the team right the way through.
"I must say in particular that the two centre-backs, Scott Dann and Martin Kelly, have stepped up to the plate quite incredibly in very difficult games; we have always known the confidence and the ability to play in the Premier League but kept out by two guys playing very, very well and they've had to wait for their chance but it's good they’ve got that chance and good they've shown their ability and they’ve done it in games where we could've been expected to lose, Newcastle away and Arsenal away."
You can hear more from Hodgson in his manager's notes for the Everton matchday programme. Grab your copy at the ground or sign up for a digital version below!