Vladimir Coufal says West Ham are desperate for victory in Genk on Thursday as a “gift” for David Moyes.
Hammers boss Moyes celebrates his 1,000th match as a manager in their Europa League Group H clash in Belgium.
Czech right-back Coufal said: “A thousand games is a huge success for him and for sure we would like to win and give him a good performance from us, like a birthday gift. So we want to do everything for him and to win tomorrow.”
A fourth win from four matches could even see West Ham qualify for the knockout stages with two games to spare.
Coufal added: “That’s very important also for us, because our schedule is like unbelievable now, especially next month, so we can have one game less if we win the group. So it’s a good bonus for us and we want to get this bonus.”
Moyes has been keen to play down his landmark occasion, but even he had to admit it will be a proud moment.
“Personally it is a big day. All managers would like to get 1,000 games but when you start you very rarely think that way,” he said.
“It is a big achievement so I am proud of the level of consistency and longevity in the game and I will be proud to get there.
“I had 999 against Aston Villa and thankfully I won that one. I have a team that are hungry and energetic and we want to keep the demands up because I want to win my 1,000th game – but I also want to win the one after that.
“You hope to win every game and you cannot pick and choose.”
Genk coach John Van Den Brom congratulated Moyes on his milestone.
He said: “It’s a great achievement, I have a lot of respect for the coach and also it’s great for me that I can play against him in his 1,000th match.”
Genk were beaten 3-0 by West Ham at the London Stadium a fortnight ago and lie bottom of the group, although they are level on points with Rapid Vienna and Dinamo Zagreb.
“West Ham are in very good form and good shape, not only their first team but the players in the squad who can play very good games. We saw that two weeks ago,” added Van Den Brom.
“West Ham, I think, for all the other teams in our pool, have gone. But everyone else has three points so we are still ready to do something in the next three games. It’s important we have a good result tomorrow and can go into the last two games with confidence.”
Moyes said the squad had “one or two knocks” ahead of the match, but Coufal confirmed he is fit and ready to start after a groin injury.