The Mali global was on target in the Eagles' FA Cup loss to Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday and he was rewarded for his impressive performance with a second league start.
Palace lost their opening seven league fixtures, leading to Frank de Boer's sacking and Hodgson's appointment, and they were then widely considered to be near-certainties for relegation.
Hodgson also spoke of the attacker's contract: "Contracts are being dealt with all the time but you have to be careful with them". "I still think we have moved a long way from where we were last season, particularly away from home, because second half, we have really taken that game on today".More news: California mudslides: Crews dig through debris
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The Burnley star has featured 15 times in the league this campaign as the Lancashire club have defied the odds to now reside in the top half of the table.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche, though, has stated that he does not want to lose Arfield in the January transfer window.
"Roy sometimes gets mixed reviews, but the years of service to the game, and the levels he has worked at, he gets nothing but respect from me, I can assure you", Dyche told a news conference. "He's doing terrific", he said.
"I don't know quite how many chances he's had in the past, but he's not done well enough to force his way in", said Hodgson of Sako. He's settled it down nicely. Sometimes Roy gets mixed reviews, but the levels he's worked at, the things he's achieved, he gets nothing but respect from me.
It says something about the change Roy Hodgson has effected on Crystal Palace that it is hard to imagine quite how they could be relegated this season.