Lambert netted 51 goals during a three-year spell in League One between 2006 and 2009, and Hodgson has insisted that the 31-year-old deserves the opportunity to prove himself at international level after being called up to England's squad to face Scotland next Wednesday.
The former West Bromwich Albion boss told Sky Sports News: "This is a man who has come up the hard way. He started in non-league, and I first came across him playing for Bristol Rovers when I was at Fulham about five or six years ago.
"I remember discussing him as a potential transfer target at the time, but the obvious question was how can a player in League One become a success in the Premier League?
"I think a man who has really worked hard to prove his worth over the years like Rickie Lambert has fully deserves this call-up."
The Southampton striker scored 15 goals in the Premier League last season.