The Viola boss guided his side into the top six prior to the winter break, but a poor start to the year has dented their early promise, though the 38-year-old remains happy with the efforts of his team.
He told the Viola Channel: “At the start of the New Year I can say quite confidently that we've improved even more, mustering the character and determination to react when faced with difficulties.
“I've also seen human values beyond the quality and grit on the pitch. We're not happy with the results but the team has always played very well.”
The Gigliati were knocked out of the Coppa Italia at the quarter-final stage on Wednesday, but Montella preferred to highlight his side's fighting spirit in the narrow defeat.
“Against Roma, after conceding a goal in the 105th minute we found the strength to react and keep pushing for the equaliser right up until the end," he added.
Fiorentina face Napoli on Sunday and with the Partenopei buoyed by the overturning of a two-point deduction and the return of the previously banned Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava, the former striker is expecting a tough afternoon.
"They perhaps have the slight upper hand tomorrow in terms of individuals," he continued.
"[Gokhan] Inler, [Marek] Hamsik, [Goran] Pandev, [Edinson] Cavani… to name just a few. We're talking about a complete team and they're capable of organising themselves defensively according to the opposition."