The Light Blues, knocked out of the Champions League last week by Malmo, struggled in the first half then suffered a blow in the 43rd minute when midfielder John Lundstram was sent off by referee Anastasios Sidiropoulos for picking up a second yellow card.
Alfredo Morelos’ strike in the 67th minute restored confidence ahead of the second leg in Armenia but boss Gerrard was far from happy.
He said: “I’ve got confidence and belief we can get going and restart and show we can get back to the form we need – but we need to wake up now.
“We’re in competitions and we’re at a club where you can’t afford to be where we are right now.
“We need to find our level and we need to wake up right now.
“The players listened to what I had to say at half time and we got a reaction and we went on to win the game.
“But we should have made this game so much more comfortable than we have.
“I am not here to talk about individuals, I am here to talk about the group.
“The first-half performance was nowhere where I needed it or wanted it to be.
“I had to be really honest in the dressing room and we got the reaction from the players but if we had got the right performance over the 90 minutes I would be sitting here in a much better position.
“Tonight wasn’t really about tactics or blocks, the players know all the information and solutions, it was way beyond tactics in the first half.
“Before you worry about tactics, you have to show fight, heart, desire, you have to be committed, you have to run through walls, you have to show these fans here that you are prepared to be all in, before you talk about tactics.”
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