The first one out was Wayne Rooney when England's players returned to the Hutnik stadium, on the outskirts of Krakow, and back to work. In fact, Rooney was so eager to start he had a bag over his shoulder, containing all the balls, as he made his way on to the pitch. Soon afterwards, he was looking back down the tunnel to see what was holding up everyone else. His new haircut, a grade-one short-back-and-sides, looked like the act of someone who means business.
It was a short session – at least, for the players who had started against France in the heat and humidity of the Donbass Arena. Hodgson had set up a series of attack-versus-defence drills but it was the support cast – a number that temporarily includes Rooney – who stayed out in the drizzle.
Everyone else was already back inside after 15 minutes.
Hodgson, in other words, will have only one proper training session to put in place his strategy for the game against Sweden in Kiev on Friday and a slight shift in tactics from the France match, with greater emphasis on getting behind the opposition defence and showing more composure in attacking positions. Six of the last seven goals Sweden have conceded have come from headers and Hodgson particularly wants to work on the team's delivery from wide positions. Yet there was no crossing practice for James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, or any routines specifically planned to bringing Ashley Young more into the game. Not on this occasion anyway. As much as Hodgson must be itching to work with his players, the clear emphasis was on keeping the players free of fatigue.
His concerns are obvious when so many of his predecessors have cited burnout for previous tournament failures and the current system is built around two players, Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker, whose fitness needs carefully monitoring. Uefa's number-crunchers calculated the team ran a total of 104.8km – or 65.1 miles – in the punishing conditions of their opening match. To reach the final, England would have to play six games in 20 days as well as embarking on 12 different flights because of the decision to be based in a different country to their matches. Hodgson and the FA's small army of sports scientists believe they have little option but to give the players the cotton-wool treatment.
It is a gruelling schedule and Hodgson made the point that his concerns are not restricted to Gerrard and Parker, 32 and 31 respectively. Milner, for instance, ran 1.4km further than any other England player in Donetsk and though Hodgson indicated there would not be changes against Sweden, or certainly "wholesale changes", there was an indication he would give more consideration to resting players against Ukraine on Tuesday. The alternative, he fears, is to ask too much from one set of players. "Age doesn't bother me. When you go into the third group game you're going to be concerned for all your players, not just Gerrard and Parker," Hodgson said. "You've got to be concerned for them all, whatever age they are, because three games played in the Ukraine, in heat, takes it out of everybody."
Hodgson also pointed out that Sweden have "players who are considerably older" – England, in fact, have the third youngest squad in the tournament – but when it comes to Gerrard and Parker the question is not so much about their age but the fact they came into this tournament with injury issues and the alternatives, to put it bluntly, do no overly inspire confidence.
Jordan Henderson replaced Parker after he started to suffer from cramp against France. Otherwise, Hodgson talked about the possibility moving Milner, now established as first-choice on the right of midfield, into the centre or bringing in Phil Jagielka or Phil Jones, two players in the squad primarily as defenders.
The question that has still never been satisfactorily answered is why the FA decided to stick to its original plan and stay in Krakow even after the draw left them facing at least two 1,000-mile round trips to Donetsk and one to Kiev.
Hodgson, however, has never indicated any unhappiness with a decision taken long before his appointment. "I like being in Krakow and I'm convinced our performances will not suffer as a result." David Bernstein, the FA's chairman, will also repel any possible criticisms, pointing out the players are flying in luxury and that it will be considerably worse at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
All the same, England's hotel for the first of their visits to Donetsk was next to the stadium and after a match as gruelling as the France one, there is a clear disadvantage in long-distance travel. The French, in contrast, based themselves in Donetsk. "The team that travels less on the plane and road will get more recuperation time," their manager, Laurent Blanc, explained. "England are in Krakow, so they travel a lot. I know there are some huge distances. So when you have games that end at 9pm and if you have to go back to the camp, what time do you go to bed?"
England's game against Sweden will not actually finish until shortly before midnight local time. In other words, it could be 3am or later before the players are back in their hotel. After that, the cycle is a day of rest, then one of light training and then back in the air again. There is no let-up and for Hodgson, trying to implement his ideas, that makes it a delicate balancing act.