Ferguson has praised Di Canio's management philosophy.
"I must confess to a liking for the fellow and his approach to the game," Ferguson told United Review.
"As I wrote the other week, he wears his heart on his sleeve and I like his football philosophy, wanting to play the ball on the ground rather than in the air.
"I have this picture in my mind of him being in the technical area pointing to the sky and then the ground in an effort to get his players to keep the ball down.
"He has a tough challenge on his hands with his fight to keep Sunderland in the Premier League."