The Frenchman deserves plaudits for the workmanlike shift he put in alongside strike-partner Papiss Cisse in the 1-0 win over Aston Villa, his teammate claims.
Riviere, 24, was a surprise inclusion in the line-up ahead of fellow forward Ayoze Perez as John Carver opted for a 4-4-2 formation but, in just his second Premier League start in four months, the Frenchman proceeded to put in a solid, if unspectacular, 73-minute outing.
He might have failed to get on the scoresheet on the afternoon, with Papiss Cisse’s 37th-minute strike proving the difference, but Williamson insists the no-nonsense shift the ex-Monaco man put in was crucial towards the three points, and thinks the goals will soon come for him if he continues to show the same work-rate.
"We've needed Papiss’ goals, they've been huge for us, but I do think the work from Manu goes unnoticed,” he said.
"For me he's a great outlet, he puts his body on the line and gets other people goals, hopefully he can get some himself.
"Up front it was good to see them, their presence, that work-rate, that doggedness and Papiss can score from anywhere."
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Riviere made the £6 million move to Newcastle from Monaco after scoring 10 goals in 30 Ligue 1 games last season, but the former Under-21 international has since failed to find the back of the net in 15 top-flight appearances for his new side.
A brace in September’s 3-2 Capital One Cup win over Crystal Palace served to show his potential, however, and, much like teammate and compatriot Remy Cabella, fans will hope that more first-team opportunities moving forward will see him replicate the performances which first attracted the interest of the Magpies.