A second-half penalty from Vicente rescued a point for the hosts after defender Scott Dann had headed Rovers ahead against the run of play midway through the first half.
"It's an ideal warm-up. We'll have to concede a lot of territory against Arsenal but we want to be part of an attractive tie," said Appleton.
"Our quality was not a good as when we played Ipswich last Saturday but, as the away side, we're bound to be a lot happier with the result than Brighton.
"Six or seven weeks ago we would have lost a game like that 4-1 or 5-1. There's more about us now.
"We had to deal with a lot of balls in the box and we showed a lot of steel."
Appleton insisted he is not thinking about the possibility of making the play-offs at this stage, adding: "It would be different if we had six games to play, but we have 15 matches to go with a lot to play this month.
"We are a work in progress at the minute. Our work ethic not to lose is good and important and we have enough quality to win away games."