“It’s good to have that opportunity,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “It’s a good opportunity to work with some of the younger players in the Under-23s that you see play but you haven’t necessarily had the chance to work with to any great degree, to incorporate them in great numbers into the training sessions you want to do.
“I’ve been very happy with both situations. A: with the chance to work in more detail with those who were left behind, and B: to see how the U23s can deal with stepping into a more intensive environment.”
The manager also discussed Monday’s opposition, as his squad prepare to travel to Goodison Park.
“Any time you go to Everton, you’re going to face a very very difficult game,” Hodgson said. “They are a good team, well coached and the players they’ve brought in have made them much stronger. We have to prepare as well as we can and have faith that if we play as well as we know we can do, we can get a good result.
“I think it will be a very different team [to the last meeting at Goodison Park]. Carlo [Ancelotti] is working with them and improving them all the time. Almost a year has gone by so that’s another year of working with Carlo.
“He’s brought in players that have strengthened the players even more. We know it will be a tough game, but unfortunately almost every game in the Premier League is a tough one.
“I don’t think the game on Monday night will give me any respite from that. There will be plenty of suffering on the touchline but I think our aim is to give them suffering too, so I hope my anxiety on the touchline is matched by Carlo’s.”