The Fiorentina boss was thrilled with his side's second-half showing against Pacos de Ferreira, but insists it is too early to think about reaching the Europa League final
Goals from Gonzalo Rodriguez, Ryder Matos and Giuseppe Rossi saw la Viola begin their Europa League campaign in perfect fashion, and Montella believes his side began to hit their stride after the break in Portugal.
"Was it tougher than expected? It is Europe, so it couldn’t be simple," Montella told Mediaset after the match.
"Before the goal we did things wrong, but we played some fine football after breaking the deadlock, even if towards half-time we allowed Pacos too much space. The team then showed how practical it is to finish off a match."
Matos struck his first goal on his Fiorentina debut to put the side in control of proceedings but Montella has urged the 20-year-old to step up his work-rate in order to make the most of his talent this season.
"Matos is an unusual striker, as he can also play out wide," he said. "He still needs to grow, as he seems a little lazy at times.
"He needs to stay calm because he has great potential and the confidence of a club and coach who decided he should remain here this season."
Fiorentina's win affirms their status as one of the favourites for this season's Europa League title, but Montella has stressed they cannot begin to think of the Juventus Stadium showpiece too early.
"I take things one step at a time," the 39-year-old added. "I don’t want to dream, as I am a very realistic person."