Cole will set a new landmark on Tuesday (Wednesday morning AEST) when he makes his 21st tournament appearance, eclipsing the record jointly held by
Should England go on to reach the final of
Yet, partly because of the position he plays but also due to the negative perceptions that surround him, the 31-year-old has rarely been a crowd favourite.
However, Hodgson has quickly become a fan and like every England manager since
"He misses very few games, either for his national team or club team, and always plays to a very high level," Hodgson told BBC Radio Five Live.
"It is great to hear that he has this record to beat when he plays against the
"It would be wrong to take him for granted. We are very much aware of his qualities and how much we need him down that left side.
"Because he is a quiet man, maybe for a lot of people he does slip under the radar.
"I know he is most comfortable when he lets his football do the talking."
England's plans for the encounter with co-hosts
In its desire to protect the surface, UEFA has barred both teams from training at the Donbass Arena, so the Three Lions will go through its final session in Krakow before flying into Donetsk for its meeting with
Red Devils team-mate
Either way, Hodgson is keen to keep everyone on board.
"These games come round so quickly, to have the opportunity to give the odd player a rest is only an advantage," he said.
"It's very much a 14-man game in these tournaments.
"The heat has an effect and so does the intensity of the games so quite often you are happy to have a player or two on the bench that you believe can make a difference to your team."
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere hopes the latest operation on his troublesome ankle will prove the last as he looks to recover full fitness for both club and country next season.