Rovers lacked cutting edge before a late surge of their own fell short but showed levels of desire and endeavour sadly lacking from Saturday's feeble home defeat to Peterborough.
"Obviously Bolton are on a good little run at the minute and sometimes you go on a purple patch like that and things go for you," said Appleton after seeing Wanderers' chalk up a fourth consecutive victory.
"But I certainly believe that the harder you work the luckier you become.
"I think that if we continue to play with the commitment, the effort and the attitude that we showed.... it was certainly a performance that sums me up as a person as well as a manager.
"I need 11 players who enter the field of play wanting to put in the type of performance that they did."