Rovers lost 2-1 at home to Charlton in the new boss' first match in charge since joining from Blackpool.
Appleton said he had learned plenty from those 90 minutes of Championship football and was preparing changes for the visit of Brighton on Tuesday.
"I've asked them to be honest against Brighton on Tuesday, just give me an honesty about the performance and an urgency," he said.
"Whether the quality is there or not, I'm not too concerned at the minute because that will come but what I won't take is a lack of honesty.
"At the end of the day the players are there to be shot at - as is the manager, coaches and all the staff.
"If they aren't prepared to do it, don't want to do it, or can't do it, then obviously they are going to have a frustrating 19 games."
Rovers have won just three times in 14 matches, losing half of those, and Appleton is keen to stop the rot as soon as possible.
"There is a lot of work to do," he told Radio Rovers.
"I've learnt a lot and it is important. When you win you learn nothing about your players because you tend to overlook some of the things that you weren't particularly great at in the game.
"When it is a defeat it is difficult at times but sometimes it could be the best thing that happens to a group of people.
"I'm still finding out about a few of the players.
"I think there may be one or two changes for Tuesday in terms of personnel and maybe they'll get their opportunity and take it."