Danny Wilson lamented Barnsley’s poor start against Watford this afternoon after the 3-0 defeat sent the Tykes to the bottom of the Championship.

The Yorkshire outfit are now three points from safety after goals from Cristian Battocchio and Troy Deeney left them firmly on the back foot inside the opening 20 minutes, before Alexander Merkel cemented the destiny of the points with 16 minutes remaining.

“That just knocked us for six,” the Barnsley boss said of Battocchio’s fifth-minute opener. “We came with a game plan and we knew exactly what we wanted to do, get the ball down and cause them some problems, then we got hit with a sucker punch within minutes of the start of the game. It was a poor, poor goal to give away and defensively it was suicidal and then to concede the second one. It’s a bit like the other night when you’re playing against Leicester, it’s very, very difficult when the team’s in the ascendency and Watford’s home record is fantastic and it was always going to be difficult to get back into it. We showed a little bit more fight in the second half in terms of our forward play but we were always going to be vulnerable.”

Wilson admitted “a lot of home truths” had been spoken in the dressing room afterwards and added: “There’s been a lot of very candid words spoke and there needed to be. We’ve got some good games coming up, this season is far from over and but if they’re going to start believing what people are writing about us then it will be over. We’ve got to have an inner strength, a little cocoon around us if you like and make sure we don’t take it to heart and really believe we can stay up.”