Di Canio, 44, is untried as a Premier League manager and you can never predict what will happen next with the Italian's explosive personality.
He said: "Paolo is proof you don't have to be boring to be a manager. It's a gamble by Sunderland to take him on but you can't doubt his enthusiasm and commitment.
"He also knows our game inside out.
"It's not as if Sunderland have gone out and brought in a foreign coach for the sake of it. He has come back here to manage because he loves our game.
"And he wasn't given a top job straightaway.
"He started at Swindon. I can't imagine he did that for the money. He did it to work his way up and show people he can be a decent boss. It's a great appointment.
"Sunderland's players will be supremely fit.
"A few of my lads at QPR know some of the players at Swindon.
"And they've been surprised how fit they all are after working with Paolo."