Stephen Dawson surveyed the wreckage of yet another five-goal mauling and admitted he has no idea how Barnsley can stop the rot.
David Flitcroft’s men conceded five goals for the third time this season as they were stung by a Watford side that now stand fifth.
This walloping leaves Barnsley with just one win in seven games and stuck one place off the bottom of the table.
Dawson said: “That’s going to be haunting us for a couple of days.
“We were in the changing room for an hour after the match – we said a few home truths to each other.
“As players, we weren’t good enough. We know that we’ve let everyone down.
“The manager and fans, they deserve more.
“It’s the easy option to say Watford were too good.
“But how do you turn it around? We’ve got Leicester, Reading and QPR next!”
Troy Deeney set Watford on a roll in the seventh minute when he beat the offside trap before firing into the far corner.
Barnsley levelled moments later when Jason Scotland easily brushed aside Brazilian defender Iriney before beating Manuel Almunia from outside the box.
That was as good as it got for the Tykes though, who were behind again three minutes later when Davide Faraoni volleyed home Lewis McGugan’s deflected shot.
Fernando Forestieri then tapped home to put the visitors 3-1 up by half-time, before Almunia superbly saved Martin Craine’s header from point-blank range.
And that stop proved crucial, as with 20- minutes left, Sean Murray put the game beyond doubt with a drive into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
Ikechi Anya completed the scoring with a stunning solo effort, running the length of the pitch before firing under Luke Steele.
Hornets midfielder Murray was happy they avenged last season’s 1-0 defeat at Oakwell.
“We weren’t out for revenge, but we wanted to learn from our mistakes and prove we can come to places like this and play,” he said.
“I think we gave a good account of ourselves.
“There were five different scorers, so it doesn’t mean that just the strikers are scoring.
“Even the right-wing-back and the left-wing-back scored today. So everywhere on the pitch, players are getting a good chance.”