Rovers take on their Championship counterparts at The Den in an FA Cup quarter-final clash on Sunday having prospered on the road during this season's competition.
Derby were dispatched 3-0 in round four - Appleton's first victory after being installed as Henning Berg's successor at Ewood Park in January - before Colin Kazim-Richards' second-half strike sealed a 1-0 giant-killing triumph at Arsenal and landed a comparatively simpler capital assignment in the last eight.
But the 37-year-old former Portsmouth and Blackpool boss knows first-hand how easy it can be to lose your temper at The Den.
"I hope the players make sure they stay a little bit more professional than I did in my first appearance at The Den because that was the first place I got sent off as a player for Preston North End," he explained.
"Someone made a really bad challenge on me before I reacted. I was a young player at the time and it was an intimating atmosphere.
"It's one of them where, as a player, you've got to control your emotions with regards to what's going on around you."
Preston held out for the final half-hour in Appleton's absence to secure a 1-0 victory on that occasion in March 1998 and if Blackburn are to enjoy similar success - ideally with a full compliment of players - their manager insists they must look to silence the locals from the outset.
"I think it is still an intimidating place to go," he said. "If you speak to players, managers and coaches up and down the country (they will say) the support is very, very good. They get behind their team and they're very vocal.
"We just have to make sure that we try and keep them as quiet as we possibly can.
"In doing that, obviously we're aware that we've got to start the game really well. We have to go and play in their half and make sure we're on the front foot right from the start."
Displays of such intent have been lacking from Rovers in recent weeks, and a run of one point from five league games suggests a sizeable hangover on the back of their Emirates exploits.
But Appleton took encouragement from his side's endeavours before a stoppage-time loss to Bolton on Tuesday night and believes the crash to earth experienced since beating Arsenal means nothing will be taken for granted this weekend.
"There's complacency to fear more than anything," he added. "We've got to make sure that we go into the game against Millwall in the same frame of mind as we did against Derby and Arsenal.
"I'd like to think that the results of late - not necessarily the performances because the performance on Tuesday was magnificent - will stop any complacency going into the game.
"It's a great opportunity to get into the semi-final. I think everyone realises that.
"I've not had a proper look to see who from my team has played at Wembley but I don't think it's a massive amount.
"It's certainly motivation in itself to know that if you get through the tie and win the game you've got a fantastic day to look forward to."