Hodgson handed the 18-year-old winger his first competitive start in Monday night's 1-1 Euro 2012 draw with France in Donetsk.
"He deserved it," said Hodgson.
"The way he's played since coming into the squad, the performance he gave against Belgium, the ability he has to skip past defenders - which is an important ability to have - is excellent.
"I said to him before the game that this was a big occasion, but there'll be so many more big occasions in the rest of his career so he shouldn't hang himself on this occasion.
"I just wanted him to play to the best of his ability and remember he has plenty of games for England ahead of him."