Handed his second start in four days, Wilshere did not enjoy the best of evenings and it was no surprise when he was replaced midway through the second half by the equally ineffectual Ashley Young.
In his defence, as Hodgson knows only too well, the Arsenal midfielder did not have the benefit of a full pre-season campaign as Arsene Wenger sought to protect him after two years of problems with ankle and knee injuries. "Jack is still looking for full fitness," said Hodgson. "That is why we took him off in the second-half. We saw a much more effective Jack against Moldova, but he still did his work against Ukraine and, tactically, did all the things I asked of him."
It was not a night for flamboyance, but England have at least rediscovered something of a defensive solidity. Although some questioned the performance of Kyle Walker at right-back, the criticism seemed a trifle unfair given his task of closing down Yevhen Konoplyanka was the toughest any England player faced.
Ashley Cole was in command on the other side, whilst Gary Cahill produced probably his finest international display alongside Phil Jagielka, who was not far behind. "All our defenders were really good - and they needed to be," said Hodgson. "If they had not been, the quality of our opponents, in front of a very fervent home crowd, created conditions that begged for a defeat."
Although Hodgson suggested beforehand Ukraine would be desperate for victory, in the end, another scenario unfolded. Ukraine, who have a home game against a Poland side teetering on the brink of elimination before a trip to San Marino, will feel the point they collected last night will earn them a play-off berth at worst.
What they now hope - and England must avoid - is for Montenegro or Poland to spring a surprise when they head to Wembley. "It was a game where neither side will think they have lost points," said Hodgson. "It's a very tight group and there are a number of teams who can still qualify. We are hoping that it will be us."