The Three Lions came from behind to beat the side that knocked them out of Euro 2012, while the head coach reserved praise for midfielder Tom Cleverley after a fine outing
Goals from Phil Jagielka and Jermain Defoe were enough to overcome the Azzurri after Daniele De Rossi's opener.
England were knocked out of Euro 2012 by the Italians but Hodgson insisted that little had changed between his system on that night in June compared to his tactics on Wednesday.
He told ITV: "It's not about systems, it's about players. I think that the three guys in midfield, they passed the ball and controlled the ball very well.
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"The wide players worked very hard for us but often there's not such a lot of difference between what we were trying to do in the Euros and what we were trying to do tonight.
"Maybe the major difference was that tonight we showed a bit more composure on the ball and were lucky enough to pass it a little bit better."
Hodgson's squad for the clash at the Stade de Suisse was much changed from the one that travelled to Ukraine and Poland due to a mixture of injury problems and the 65-year-old's desire to test new players on the international scene, and the coach was happy with his charges.
"It gave us a chance to see so many new players," he added. "It might have been different if we'd had to use the same players we did all though the Euros.
"It was great to be able to give those players, our quality players and senior players a rest and blood so many young players and new players or players who didn't get a chance to play before and I thought they answered the challenge in the best possible way, it's a good victory."
Tom Cleverley made his senior international debut in the clash after being denied his England bow a year ago due to the London riots and the former West Brom boss was particularly impressed with the Manchester United man's performance in midfield.
He enthused: "We know he's a good player, Tom Cleverley, I think he's a very, very important player for Manchester United.
"I think they were unlucky to lose him so early and I think they will be pleased to see him back and in form playing for GB, and playing very well for GB, and it must be terrific for him to add now to that with a good performance with the England first team."