After a first half in which chances were at a premium, the introduction of new signing DJ Campbell provided the required impetus as Jordan Rhodes notched his seventh league goal in succession to claim all three points.
Rovers were pushed all the way by a hard working Ipswich Town side, but Appleton was delighted with the way the team stood firm.
"It was a workmanlike performance," Appleton told Radio Rovers after the game. "Two sides who cancelled each other out.
"I thought we were much better in the second half, the tempo was much better in our play.
"The introduction of DJ probably gave everyone a lift, the crowd included, and eventually we got our reward by sticking in there.
"It is all about the three points, it doesn't matter about shots on target or the way we have played, all that matters at this stage of the season is the result."
In a game of few chances it came down to a deft touch from Jordan Rhodes to be the difference. Rovers' top scorer reacting quickest after Grant Hanley's shot had been cleared off the line to get his boot to the ball before it deflected off Stephen Henderson and into the back of the net.
But it was the way the side defended that gave the Rovers boss the most joy, a third consecutive clean sheet helping the club to rise to 7th in the table.
"You've only got to look to the last two or three minutes of injury time where they've had a couple of balls into the box and a couple of chances off the back of it," added Appleton.
"I say to the players all day, enjoy defending. Sometimes the team are going to have a little bit of pressure and if it means putting your foot through things and getting your head in the way, putting in blocks, then that is what you have to do.
"If you do that then you can rely on your strikers to create and score goals which is what has happened today.
"The reaction in the dressing room was fantastic and for me, winning the game 1-0 is hugely enjoyable."