Simon returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines in the first game of 2004 against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup and was a key figure in the winning of five Premiership games out of seven before the two and half week break in our fixture schedule.
When the Welsh international initially returned to the side he featured on the left side of midfield before returning to his more natural right sided role in the thrilling win over Charlton at the Valley. He is currently battling to overcome a shin problem and David admits that recent experimentation on the right involving Fredi Kanoute and Dean Marney would not have been undertaken had Simon been available.
"I don't think there is any question, the absence of Simon Davies has been a big minus for us in the last few weeks," considered the acting boss. "He solved that right-side problem in the away game against Charlton Athletic with a vibrant performance, with Jackson tucked in on the left, and him ferreting away down the right.
"It was a good performance, King was really in there - as was Brown - and we had a nice balanced team. I don't think we've had it since and, I have to say, Simon is important to us. He is a quality midfield player - young, vibrant and can get a goal."
David agreed that the verve and pace possessed by the 24-year-old is a vital component in terms of linking the midfield to attack.
"Yes he has, he's got that energy that is so vital. Of course, at the moment, alternatives are limited. I had a look at Dean at Manchester United and he had quite a good game, Stephane Dalmat has had settling down problems over the season and Darren Anderton is injured.
"It has been difficult for us, every team loses players and we're not moaning. I am now looking very closely at whether we should invite Mark Yeates to make a claim because he is a very talented boy who is brave and has good skills - we might be able to fit him in at some stage."
David Pleat admits that the absence of Simon Davies has been a genuine minus for the team over the last five games.