Hodgson insists defeat was a blip
Confidence was growing within the squad after four victories and two draws but it started to ebb away at Wigan Athletic in midweek when they were lucky to escape at 1-1. And by the end of yesterday's 2-0 defeat at Stoke City it appeared all the team's hard work in dragging themselves out of the relegation zone after a difficult start to the season had been undone.
However, Hodgson preferred to look on the performance at the
"I don't expect this result to dent confidence any more than any bad result does or any end to a good run dents your confidence. We are talking about two or three games in a season. I find it hard to have to explain that every time you win a game things are flying forward and when you get a bad result they are flying backwards.
"I'm a 38-to-55-game-a-season man and I make my judgment over that period. I don't get euphoric when we play well against Chelsea and I certainly won't become anything other than realistic and determined to move on to the next step when we lose a game. The conclusions that are being attempted to be drawn are too big conclusions.
"We're realistic. We know we've still got some work to do, get some players back to fitness and work at our game. All you can do is work but unfortunately we won't have a lot of chance to work as some players are going away with their national team.
"The longer we work together the more the players become attuned to what we want from them. I don't think I need to fear one setback in six is going to throw us back into a bad situation."
Statistics from the game showed Stoke had twice as much possession as their opponents and Hodgson admitted they struggled to get to grips with the pace of the game. "I was disappointed with the lack of creativity for large periods but to do that we needed a bit more from our front players," he added.
"Most of the time the creativity comes on those occasions when you get the ball down and play some football but for a lot of time it was in the air or being kicked out and then you have to deal with the re-start which ensues. We have had some good performances, it is the first game we have lost in six so I think that is pretty consistent."