Johnson revealed Hodgson has ordered the entire side - including striker Danny Welbeck - to ensure they deliver a defensive shift.
He said: "Our defensive organisation has benefited the whole team. Everyone is willing to work that touch harder.
"At this level it is that extra bit of effort that makes the difference. Even players like Welbeck are tackling from the front.
"We are defending from high up and that is a good way to send the team out. I have played the game for a long time. Sometimes you have strikers who just stand there because they think they cannot win the ball.
"If they go to try and win the ball, it puts pressure on the opposition and everyone else can get a bit closer.
"I am a defender and my first job is to defend. I am keen to get forward when the opportunity comes up but, first of all, you have to make sure you don't concede goals."