Defoe - who hit a superb Europa League hat-trick against Maribor hours later - revealed he was comfortable with his omission because Hodgson had called him beforehand to explain.
The in-form striker said: "The manager called me on Thursday morning and left a message on my phone to tell me I would be rested.
"I've played a lot of football to be honest. I have played all of the games for Spurs bar two in the Cup. Also the England games.
"So the manager left me a message telling me that he was going to give me a rest and take an opportunity to look at some of the younger players.
"Even on our last trip away with England when I didn't play with San Marino the manager pulled me to one side and told me that he wasn't playing me because if I picked up another yellow card I'd have missed the game against Poland.
"So he speaks to you and he explains the reasons why he doesn't go with you. Players appreciate that kind of treatment. I've always appreciated it.
"Its when you don't play and you don't hear anything that it becomes a problem. I have had that in my career and its not nice.
"We're all human. As players it is probably true to say that we're never going to go through a whole season playing every game. But if the manager has a reason for you not playing and he tells you then no problem."