Paul Robinson has slammed Manuel Pellegrini for publicly questioning Joe Hart's form.
The Manchester City and England number one has been criticised for several errors this season, most notably in City's 3-1 defeat at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League last week.
City boss Pellegrini opted keep Hart in his side for the club's Saturday win over Everton but after the game said his decision to stick with the 26-year-old "wasn't a simple decision. It was a very difficult decision".
With the Three Lions' World Cup qualification hopes on the line against Montenegro and Poland over the next 10 days, Hart's form has come in for further scrutiny from the media.
However, Robinson, who was dropped by former England boss Steve McClaren ahead of a crucial Euro 2008 qualifier against Croatia after a poor run, only to see an error from his replacement Scott Carson contribute to England's failure to progress to the Austria and Switzerland co-hosted event, warned against dropping Hart.
The Blackburn Rovers keeper instead urged City boss Pellegrini, England manager Roy Hodgson and the rest of the nation to show some support for Hart, who last season was being hailed for his ability between the sticks.
"Joe knows if he's not playing well what his manager is going to be thinking - but he doesn't need to be told that in the press," said Robinson.
"His manager needs to come out and say 'yes, he's my number one goalkeeper, he's playing every week'. I don't think his manager [Pellegrini] helped him the other week saying 'we know he's made mistakes and [City reserve keeper Costel] Pantilimon is a good keeper etc'. That's not helping him.
"As a keeper under pressure you need support, you don't need questions asked of you. That affects your confidence and as a goalkeeper confidence is a huge thing.
"In that situation every game you play you're scrutinised; if a goal isn't even half your fault, it's your fault. In training you feel people are watching you and even walking down the street people will say daft comments and they just don't help you.
"You need support but in this country we seem to have a habit of not doing that.
"Joe has got to try not to think too much about and over-analyse what he's doing because he will find it will just slip back into place.
"He's not doing anything different to when people were talking about him being the best goalkeeper in the world and that was less than a year ago.
"He's just got to keep doing what he knows gets the best out of himself."
Robinson pointed out the English media and fans have made a habit of criticising the England number one for years and not supporting a settled number one in the past has contributed to the country's failure to succeed on the international stage.
"We've got a thing in this country where we seem to build English goalkeepers up and then break them down - and it's been the same for years," he said.
"When David Seaman was in goal all we heard was Nigel Martyn should have been playing, then David James came in and people were saying it shouldn't be him it should be me, then when I was playing people were saying it should be someone else...
"We should be careful not to slip into that mind-set with Joe Hart. We don't need to do that. As a national team we want to succeed. The goalkeeper is the backbone of the team and as a nation we need to get behind the team and the goalkeeper."