A roar of approval rang round Anfield when Poulsen made way for Milan Jovanovic against Blackpool last month, while his 73rd-minute appearance in place of Dirk Kuyt at Wigan on Wednesday was greeted by boos and chants of 'attack, attack'.
The midfield anchor man tried to play down the reaction to his withdrawal, in the shock 2-1 home defeat by Blackpool, by claiming he thought the cheers were for his efforts. But Hodgson revealed how the 30-year-old Denmark international sat slumped in the dressing room afterwards, worried about his lack of form and distraught at being pilloried by supporters.
Slow start: Christian Poulsen's form has been so poor that even his own fans have booed him
'There have been one or two games, in front of our own fans, where he has not played well, and unfortunately you cannot stop that sort of response,' said the Liverpool manager. 'He knows he hasn't played to his normal level, and he is devastated by it. The crowd aren't stupid. They can see for themselves.
'All he can do is keep working hard and, when he gets his chance to try and show what he's capable of, make sure he takes it. It will be tough getting the fans on his side. He is a good defensive midfield player and is also not bad on the ball, but he has made a bad start here .'
On the turn: Steven Gerrard can see the light at the end of Liverpool's road to recovery
Poulsen may be suffering but his captain Steven Gerrard says his mood has been transformed by the club's upturn in form.
'We still haven't got fully around the corner but we're on our way round it,' said Gerrard. 'It's down to the manager's ideas coming across, a lot of hard work on the training ground and everyone pulling in the right direction. I feel happier and I'm certainly smiling a lot more.'
Liverpool still fear Pepe Reina could leave at the end of the season and have drawn up a short list of potential replacements. Manchester City keeper Shay Given is under consideration, as is Ajax's Maarten Stekelenburg. Mark Schwarzer could provide a short-term solution, given Hodgson's Fulham links, while Liverpool are also monitoring whether Schalke might bow to financial pressures and allow Germany No 1 Manuel Neuer to leave.
Poulsen promises to prove his worth at Liverpool and help continue Roy's revivalWigan 1 Liverpool 1: Torres offers masterclass but Rodallega halts RedsLiverpool leave Gerrard and Torres at home despite bid to find form in NapoliLIVERPOOL FC