The Italian was sacked by the Black Cats five games into the 2013-14 season after picking up just one point at the start of the campaign.
However, Di Canio is adamant that the fault lies with De Fanti and Angeloni for bringing players that he didn't want into his squad.
He told Sky Sports News: "My big mistake was to accept to work in the way I did. Just for clarity, the 14 players that arrived at Sunderland during the summer, not one of those was brought by me.
"De Fanti and Valentino Angeloni were the two responsible for that technical error, with the maximum support from the chairman, which is Ellis Short.
"But I didn't bring in one player. I asked for them to bring in 80% of British footballers."