Rovers travel back to Pride Park this Saturday for the fourth round tie, the scene of a 1-1 draw earlier this campaign when Jordan Rhodes' first half opener was cancelled out by a late Theo Robinson strike.
Now as the two sides prepare to go head-to-head in the cup, the manager hopes Rovers can build on their midweek draw against Brighton.
"It is an important game, it comes a few days after what I thought was an impressive performance against Brighton," said the Rovers boss.
"So I'm looking forward to the game against Derby, I'm looking to see if the players can repeat that.
"I think they will be slight favourites with them being the home side. Their record at home is decent.
"But we go there, regardless of what happened in the last seconds of the game on Tuesday, full of confidence in terms of the way we performed and we'll be trying our hardest to win the game and get through."
Whilst the priority will always be with the league campaign, Appleton certainly knows the value of a good cup run.
"I think it just brings a feel-good factor to the football club," added the Rovers boss. "It always brings that opportunity of pulling one of the big boys out of the hat.
"The excitement of being in the cup draw on the Sunday gives everyone a lift so hopefully we'll get a positive result and be in the hat on Sunday."
Tickets for the Derby clash will be on sale at Ewood Park until 4pm Friday. They will be on sale on the day from 12pm on Saturday from the South Stand Away Ticket Office.