Hodgson named Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge and debutant Andros Townsend in an attacking line-up at home to Montenegro and was rewarded with a 4-1 victory, although all the goals came after the break following a tense opening period.
And Gerrard said: "The players and manager took a bit of criticism after Ukraine (a drab 0-0 draw) and I thought his selection was very bold here.
"He went for three forwards and an out-and-out winger, and it paid off. Well done to him for his bravery."
Patience proves key
The hosts had to wait until three minutes after the break for their first goal and Gerrard said: "We had to show a lot of patience, we knew Montenegro were going to come and defend deep, try to spoil the game and play for the draw.
"We showed patience and I thought we lifted it after half-time. Thankfully, we got the breakthrough early on in the second half, and I thought we won the game comfortably in the end.
"We didn't do a lot wrong in the first-half but, credit to Montenegro, they defended well.
"But we knew if we kept knocking on the door, the breakthrough would come. Credit to the lads, we've done exactly what was asked of us."
Just to crank up the pressure on England, it emerged at half-time that Ukraine, their chief rivals for the group leadership, had beaten Poland 1-0 at home.
Gerrard added: "Yes, we knew, and it wasn't helpful, it added that bit of pressure.
"But I said earlier in the week it was going to be a pressure situation. We took that on the chin, accepted the responsibility, and we produced."