Smalling is encouraged by the knowledge he has the support of Hodgson after playing in back-to-back internationals against Brazil and San Marino.
He said: "It's great to have a manager who has belief in you.
"That gives me the faith in my ability to go out there and just play.
"But the game in Montenegro is massive for England at the top of our World Cup qualifying group.
"We've taken note of their results and we know it's going to be a close group."