With Ebere Eze able to reach 100 appearances for the club, the manager reiterated his belief that Palace is the perfect place for young players to develop and play.
“Good job you told me that, because I didn’t know! I would like to think that. I think the squad we have now is a good one, certainly a lot stronger than squads we have had in the past and in particular and lot younger and more athletic than perhaps certain teams we had in the past.
“The club has to be very happy with the way they moved things forwards and changed the way the team looks. At the moment this is a good place for young players to come and develop.
“We play, in my opinion, good football. If young players are at Crystal Palace they have a better chance of keeping their place and playing in the league than at one of the more established clubs playing European football, where the squads are bigger.”
With Fulham finishing 10th last season, Hodgson discussed the two clubs’ shared ambitions for the coming campaign – although reiterated that there is still some time before judgements can be made.
“They are a good team, a good club,” he said. “Marco Silva has done an outstanding job. They have everything you want from a Premier League team: they are organised, they have quality players, they work very hard.
“They all know what they are doing. They have played together for a while, so their habits are well ingrained. I don’t think any team will come up against Fulham and have anything other than a tough challenge. It is up to us to face up to that challenge and to play good enough football to overcome that challenge.
“I don’t know if there is anybody I am looking at as rivals at this time. With five games gone, we still have two or three, or possibly four, players who might impact our team once fit again. It would be foolish to start concerning myself at this stage with being one place above or below a team at this time.
“I would expect both teams to be pushing for places in the top 10, so in that respect they are a rival, yes.”