Hodgson remains a big fan of the 33-year-old, but there was also an acknowledgement from the England manager that he has a growing number of options in that position.
"It's a bit of a problem when you are a full-back - you either play or you are an understudy," Hodgson said.
"For years, people have been understudy to Ashley. Now it's Ashley's turn to sit back, but we know what Ashley can do. We know how fit he keeps himself, how experienced he is.
"I certainly wouldn't write Ashley Cole out of any plans because he wasn't playing in his club team. But he will have to accept like everyone else that competition for his place in the club team and international team gets stronger all the time, and I will have a decision to make."